Soi Phet won the opening day feature at Los Alamitos July 3, taking down top prize in the Bertrando Stakes.
An 11-1 shot, Soi Phet picked up his first win on dirt, rolling to a 3 ¾-length victory over pacesetter Spirit Rules and seven others older horses bred or sired in California.
Trained by Leonard Powell for a partnership that includes Gerald and Sandra Benowitz, Mathilde Powell and Paul Viskovich, the 6-year-old Tizbud gelding took advantage of a ground-saving trip under Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux.
Never far off the pace, Soi Phet, who is out of the Siberian Summer mare Summer Jersey, angled out for clear sailing in the stretch, overtook Spirit Rules, who was nearly 10-1, with about an eighth of a mile and dew clear.
The win was the seventh in 27 starts for Soi Phet and the $60,000 pay day pushed his bankroll to $352,436. He’s won six of 11 since being claimed by his current connections for $16,000 at Hollywood Park last year.
Powell was confident Soi Phet would run well Thursday, less than one month after the dark bay’s game win on the Santa Anita turf, accomplished under 129 pounds.
“It could be that this time of year is good for him because he’s put on weight since he won and we haven’t done anything different with him,’’ said Powell. “People think he’s not as good on dirt (0-for-8 prior to the Bertrando), but he ran third in a Grade I (Awesome Again last Sept. 28) behind Mucho Macho Man and that might have been his best race.’’
In completing the mile in 1:34.50, Soi Phet paid $24, $11.80 and $8.40. Spirit Rules, who finished 1 ½ lengths in front of 5-1 shot Rock Me Baby, returned $11.60 and $8.20. The show price on Rock Me Baby was $4.80.