2017 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Dallas Stewart

- -

Three days into the meet, trainer Dallas Stewart made his meet, winning a strong 9-furlong allowance with Seeking The Soul for owner/breeder Chuck Fipke. So far, Stewart has notched a win, a second and a fifth in three starts at Saratoga. On the year, the Kentucky-based trainer has won 14 races from 94 starts, including stakes scores by Forever Unbridled and Tom’s Ready. (Originally published in the Aug. 3 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

“Not a lot of horses but we’ve got races and we’re off to a decent start, we’ll see what happens. We carry 40 or 50, as long as everybody’s paying their bills, we’re good,” Stewart said. “We’ve got some nice babies in Kentucky. We’ve got a Tapit colt we like, a Tiznow, a Quality Road, a couple of Perfect Souls for Mr. Fipke, a Pioneerof The Nile filly for GMB racing, they just weren’t quite ready to bring up here, I just felt like they’re late September horses, I would have loved to bring them up to train but with the expense of everything, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. They’re there, they’re working.”

The Special’s Sean Clancy and Stewart strolled to the Oklahoma training track to talk about Stewart’s select string at Saratoga and some of the stable stars training at Churchill Downs.

Soul Beam. Son of Perfect Soul breezed a half-mile from the gate in :49.44 Saturday. Dam Sky Beam, part of the blue-hen family tree of Weekend Surprise, fetched $900,000 in 2013. Soul Beam is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Sky Kingdom. “He’s a Mr. Fipke homebred, one of the three 2-year-olds we brought here. He’ll get a seven eighths start here by the end of the meet.”

Givemeaminit. A rare Louisiana-bred juvenile to start at Saratoga, the bay colt finished second at 23-1 for Valene Farm and Joel Rosario July 22. “He’s by that famous horse Al Stall trained, Star Guitar, great horse. He ran terrific for a horse who lost both back shoes in the race, how did that happen, who’s your blacksmith, right? He got bumped a little bit leaving the gates, I don’t know, was the track deep, I don’t know. Like my mom said if he lost all four he would have won, I said, ‘huh?’ She laughed, ‘he would have been a lot of lighter.’ We’ll fire him back at the end of the meet. He worked at Churchill, he drilled everything, young horses, old horses, I tested him a little bit before we brought him up here, Mr. Valene is pretty game, so we flew him up here, got Rosario to ride him, he’s a very nice horse, a very, very nice horse. He came back good, we got the shoes back on him.”

Saints’ Girl. Another Louisiana-bred, the daughter of Overanalyze breezed six times at Churchill Downs for West Point Thoroughbreds. “She was working with the Star Guitar, almost head and head, she couldn’t quite keep up with him, but she’s getting better so that’s why we brought her up here, we’ll get a couple of works over the track and get her started before the meet, a beautiful filly, big stride, just a little immature starting out but talented.”

Seeking The Soul. Winner, winner. Another Fipke homebred by the stamina-producing Perfect Soul, the 4-year-colt relished 9 furlongs to produce his third career win. “Looked good, I thought he finished the race with good energy, he’s a really nice horse, flew him up here and got him ready to roll right away, boom, that went well. We’ll look at a spot later in the meet if everything’s good. We ran him seven eighths on Belmont Day but it was just too short for him, that race fit him good, really good. We ran him in the Belmont, he’s a really good horse. We might run him in the Woodward at the end of the meet, if not, we’ll find another spot. He can go a mile, if he has a good trip going seven eighths, he can kick it on, he can go a mile and a half, but he looked like he really liked the two-turn action. I just liked the way my horse finished, with the energy, he was getting another gear, which shows me he’s got more in the tank.”

Shes A True Beauty. SumFun Stable’s hard-hitting daughter of Yes It’s True owns three wins in her career, including an allowance score at Churchill Downs in May. Made a start at Saratoga for the third consecutive year when finishing fifth opening weekend. “She had a little bit of a tough trip on the grass, she ran pretty good though, we’ll run her back.”

General Downs. Purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Select Sale at Saratoga in 2014, the son of Mineshaft showed determination to break his maiden here last summer. He came back to win an allowance race at Fair Grounds this winter.  “He won here last year, a mile and an eighth. He ran in a two-other-than at Ellis, he was last, way last, looked like he was going to be pulled up and came flying, the race was too short for him. I know he likes the track.”

Forever Unbridled. Third behind Beholder and Songbird in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November, the Fipke homebred returned with aplomb, dominating the Fleur De Lis at Churchill Downs in June. The second leading earner in Stewart’s career, she could catch leader Macho Again with a win in the Personal Ensign later in the meet. “She’s still in Kentucky, she does really well at Churchill, we’re going to get her ready there and bring her up a week or so before the Personal Ensign. She’s good, she’s healthy, she ran a terrific race at Churchill on the comeback. She finished third in the Personal Ensign last year. Every horse is different, she trains better at Churchill.”

Tom’s Ready. Crack sprinter won the Leemat Stakes at Presque Isle Downs July 9. In training at Churchill Downs, he won’t come to Saratoga, but he will come back to New York. “He’s going to stay down there, he’s going to run in the Kelso so there’s no need to bring him up here. He’s settled in right there.”

Auspicious Babe. Daughter of Bodemeister has yet to run, she’s posted six breezes at Churchill Downs. “She worked in :48 (July 26), she’s nice.”

Cathedral Reader. Purchased as a yearling by GMB Racing, the daughter of Shackleford has posted five 3-furlong breezes at Churchill Downs. “We gave $200,000 for her, she’s nice, really nice. Mrs. Benson named her, she reads the scriptures in church.”