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Soldier Rising Seeks First Stakes Win in Red Smith

The Nov. 26 grade 2 test is the final 2022 graded turf stakes in New York.

Soldier Rising (blue cap) finishes third in the 2021 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Soldier Rising (blue cap) finishes third in the 2021 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

Coglianese Photos/Viola Jasko

There will be a sign of the times Nov. 26 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

As much as there's a little more than a month left before the Big Apple drops in Times Square to usher in 2023, with winter and the holiday season fast approaching the curtain is about to fall on turf racing in New York.

The final weekend of turf racing in 2022 will feature the last graded turf stakes of the year at a New York Racing Association track with Saturday's 63rd edition of the $300,000 Red Smith Stakes (G2T).

A stuffed field of 14 (including two main track only starters) was drawn for the 1 3/8-mile contest which for some of them will offer a final chance to register an elusive initial stakes win in 2022.

One of the starters in that frustrating position with placings but no stakes wins is Soldier Rising. The 4-year-old Frankel gelding has earned more than $700,000 in a 14-race career that features three placings in grade 1 or 2 stakes but nary a stakes win.

Trained by Christophe Clement for Michael Dubb, Morris Bailey, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, and Michael Caruso, he had two good chances to notch a top-level victory in his two starts but racing luck worked against him in a pair of 1 1/2-mile stakes. He rallied six-wide while finishing third by a length in the Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga Race Course then was fourth behind War Like Goddess in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) at Aqueduct after encountering traffic problems in the stretch.

"He did not have much racing luck in the Joe Hirsch," Clement said. "He had to check at the eighth pole and he's a steady runner. He doesn't have a great turn of foot. If he loses his momentum, it's difficult for him. The filly was much the best but I thought he could have been closer or second with a good trip."

Out of the Pivotal mare Sahrawi, Soldier Rising started his career in France with two wins and two seconds before he was sold and shipped to the United States for a summer campaign as a 3-year-old. His first start for his new connections was a second in the 2021 Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes (G1T). Three starts later, he closed out the year with a third-place finish in the Red Smith, falling a half-length shy after rallying from 10th and last.

"He's a nice horse. He's competitive," Clement said. "Well try to win a stakes with him. It will be the last race of the year for him and then we'll pull the plug."

Highest Honors in the Chad Brown barn at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. on April 16, 2022
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Highest Honors in April at Keeneland

Will Farish's Highest Honors will be searching for first stakes score since the 2019 Curlin Stakes. A 6-year-old son of Tapit , he made his last four starts in stakes for trainer Chad Brown and came away with three thirds and a fourth.

Last time out, he was third in the 1 1/2-mile Sycamore Stakes (G3T) at Keeneland, losing by 1 1/4 lengths after a slow start.

Brown will also send out Peter Brant's Balthus, a son of Galileo who had an awful trip when fifth by 1 1/2 lengths in the Sycamore.

Entries: Red Smith S. (G2T)

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, November 26, 2022, Race 9

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 3/8m
  • Turf
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 3:43 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Highest Honors (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.122Chad C. Brown5/1
22Daunt (KY)Jalon L. Samuel118Robert Ribaudo50/1
33Balthus (IRE)Manuel Franco124Chad C. Brown9/2
44Astronaut (KY)Kendrick Carmouche122Thomas Albertrani8/1
55Shawdyshawdyshawdy (KY)Jorge A. Vargas, Jr.124Jorge R. Abreu20/1
66Mooney Love (IRE)Joel Rosario124William I. Mott12/1
77Reigning Spirit (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJunior Alvarado124Albert M. Stall, Jr.15/1
88Temple (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano126Michael J. Maker8/1
99Soldier Rising (GB)Jose L. Ortiz124Christophe Clement5/2
1010Beacon Hill (KY)Dylan Davis122Michael R. Matz20/1
1111Dynadrive (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEric Cancel124Thomas Morley12/1
1212Cold Hard Cash (NY)Jose Lezcano122Linda Rice10/1
1313Kinetic Sky (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKendrick Carmouche122Linda Rice4/1
1414I Am the Law (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRider TBA122John P. Terranova, II15/1