Soi Phet returns in the Crystal Water Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, almost a year after posting a 47-1 upset in the race when he won by a nose under Alonso Quinonez, who is back aboard.
Now 11, the California-bred Tizbud gelding trained by Leonard Powell has not raced since last Sept. 8, when sixth in the E.B. Johnston Stakes at Los Alamitos. Soi Phet was believed to be the oldest horse ever to win a stakes at Santa Anita when he captured the Crystal Water at age 10 last year.
The 42-year-old Powell felt Soi Phet had considerable upside when he claimed him for $16,000 at Hollywood Park on May 23, 2013.
“At the time, he had all his conditions,” Powell explained. “He had only won a maiden 20 ($20,000), he was a non-winner of two (races), he was a Cal-bred, it was the spring of 2013 and the Del Mar meet was coming up with very generous purses.
“When I took him, it was because he had conditions left and I felt I could move him up.” Eight stakes wins and a million dollars in earnings later, Powell was assuredly right.
The Crystal Water, race five of nine: The Street Fighter, Aaron Gryder, 5-1; Hardboot, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; Tule Fog, Brice Blanc, 12-1; Brandothebartender, Joe Talamo, 5-2; Soi Phet, Alonso Quinonez, 4-1; Accountability, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1; and The Hunted, Tiago Pereira, 7-2.
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