Souper Spectacular, a 3-year-old half-brother to undefeated Breeders' Cup Classic heroine Zenyatta, broke his maiden in Saturday's fifth race at Saratoga Race Course, a mile turf maiden special weight.
The Giant's Causeway colt, purchased by current owner Live Oak Plantation for $1.15 million in the 2008 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, had run off the board in his only two previous starts, both coming on the dirt.
Piloted by leading rider John Velazquez for trainer Seth Benzel, the colt showed more speed than in his prior races, breaking alertly and tracking pacesetter Baatesh in second through fractions of 23.95 and 48.32. He put away that foe in the stretch and shook loose to win by two lengths. Sent off as the 7-1 fifth choice in the field of ten, the chestnut paid $16 to win, completing the mile turf race in 1:36.16.
“He's one of those colts that has a lot of talent but has been a slow learner,” Benzel said. “Being a half to Zenyatta doesn't lower the bar any, but we've tried to put that aside and focus on the task at hand. We're happy that he took to the turf and came home with the win.”
Benzel said Souper Spectacular would probably go back to Belmont Park for an allowance race, adding that distance will not be a problem.
His half-sister Zenyatta, by Street Cry, is 18-for-18 in her career with 13 Grade 1 victories, including the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic and the 2009 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.
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