In the days leading up to the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1), usracing.com is profiling all the contenders. The 1 ¼-mile Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs is May 1 and is the first leg of the Triple Crown. All profiles will be updated with post positions, odds, and jockeys following the draw on Tuesday, April 27.
By Margaret Ransom
Lightly raced Soup and Sandwich went into the Florida Derby undefeated in two starts. Although he lost for the first time, he did so with a solid performance — 2 ¾ lengths behind Known Agenda at odds of 12-1 after a strong effort on the front dueling for the early lead.
The gray son of Into Mischief got a later start than most of his fellow Derby hopefuls and didn’t debut until the end of January at Gulfstream Park, but debut he did by posting an eye-popping 7 ¼-length score in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight test against fellow Florida breds.
A month later, trainer Mark Casse shipped the colt to Tampa Bay Downs where he again impressed by an open-length victory, winning a 1-mile, 40-yard allowance by 2 ¾ lengths. Though he defeated just two rivals in his second start, it was an impressive win.
Soup and Sandwich had spent the winter with Casse’s Palm Meadows string but has been training at Churchill Downs for the past couple weeks and the colt breezed twice now under the Twin Spires, the most recent on April 17 in his second-to-last pre-Derby workout.
With jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard, the colt posted 5 furlongs in 59.80 after logging early splits of 12.40, 24.20 and 35.20 for three-eighths. He galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:12.40, 7 furlongs in 1:25.20 and a mile in 1:41.60. He went in company with stablemate Colonel Bowman, who earned a final 6-furlong time of 1:11.80.
“This horse is just starting to figure things around the racetrack,” Casse’s assistant, David Carroll, said. “Tyler was in cruise control around there and that gallop out was great.”
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
Owner: Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation
Career record: 3-2-1-0
Career earnings: $203,875
Derby points, ranking: 40 (15th)
Top Equibase speed figure: 108
Pedigree: Into Mischief-Souper Scoop, by Tapit
Running style: Stalker
Notes: Soup and Sandwich comes by his name quite honestly as owner Weber is the heir to the Campbell’s Soup company … Colt is a grandson of Grade 3 winner Scoop, who Weber purchased for $2.1 million at Keeneland in 2005 in foal to El Prado and who she sold for just $80,000 through the same ring nine years later, three years after she produced this colt’s winning dam, who Weber kept in her breeding program … A son of Into Mischief, who is currently sitting second on the general sires list through the end of March after taking top honors in 2019 and 2020 … Into Mischief is also the sire of last year’s Derby-BC Classic winner Authentic and 2018 Florida Derby winner Audible, who was third in the Derby, among dozens of other stakes winners … Weber’s Live Oak Plantation has been represented by four previous Derby starters —Win Win Win (2019), Brilliant Speed (2011), High Fly (2005) and Laser Light (1982) … Laser Light is the only one to have hit the board, finishing second behind Gato Del Sol in 1982 … Casse has sent out eight runners without hitting the board … Gaffalione is looking for his first Derby win with his fourth starter.
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.
After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.
In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”
Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.