Seek and Destroy displayed a new running style in her sophomore debut, coming from off the pace to win her first race on turf in the Grade 3, $100,000 Soaring Softly over the Widener course at Belmont Park on Saturday.
In the early stages, Seek and Destroy was second-to-last in the eight-horse field under a snug hold by jockey Kendrick Carmouche while My Galina led the tightly bunched pack in an opening quarter-mile in 22.36 seconds.
Following a half-mile in 45.78, Seek and Destroy began inching her way closer to the front around the far turn with little asking. Carmouche asked his filly for more at the top of the stretch, and she responded with an outside move to overtake My Galina just a few strides before the sixteenths pole, winning by a length in a final time of 1:22.53.
Stakes winner Feel Glorious, on the rail, finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of My Galina for second. Stillwater Cove, Missmizz, Eyeinthesky, Entirely and Waving Flags completed the full order of finish.
Trained by Chad Brown and owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, Seek and Destroy arrived at the Soaring Softly from a wire-to-wire win in the off-the-turf Chelsey Flower Stakes on Oct. 28 at Belmont Park going 1 1/16 miles, which came 20 days after a stylish third out one-mile maiden triumph by 9 ¼ lengths at the Elmont oval.
Carmouche said the seven-furlong distance for her 2019 debut was beneficial.
“The cutback helped. She was fresh today coming off a layoff, so I knew I could do anything with her,” Carmouche said. “She ran a wonderful race. There were a lot of horses wanting to get through to the inside, and I just wanted to get my horse a clear trip. Once I saw those guys stacking up inside, I asked her to run and she took off. I just had to hold them off from there.”
The win was a fourth stakes victory of the meet for trainer Chad Brown, who also conditioned turf graded stakes winners Santa Monica, Olympico and Homerique just three weeks into the spring/summer meet.
“She did it well,” said Brown's assistant Whit Beckman. “Kendrick took her back early and made a nice one-run move. I think she could stretch out a little bit.”
Sent off at odds of 10-1, Seek and Destroy rewarded her backers with a $2 win payout of $22.20. She earned $55,000 pushing her lifetime earnings to $156,860.
Bred in Kentucky by William Harrigan, Seek and Destroy is by Verrazano and is out of the War Chant broodmare Search and Seizure, who also produced graded stakes-winner Tammy the Torpedo.
The Soaring Softly is named in honor of Phillips Racing Partnership's dual Grade 1 winning millionaire who captured the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in 1999 at Gulfstream Park.
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