By Jenny Kellner
The handsome bay horse will be making his third appearance in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1), having finished fifth in 2018 and a closing second in the slop to last year’s winner, City of Light. That performance capped an 18-month spell in which Seeking the Soul finished first, second or third in all but two of 11 starts (including the 2018 PWC).
Since then, the now 7-year-old son of Perfect Soul has been off the board more than he’s been on, although over the spring he was third in the Alysheba (G2) and won the Stephen Foster (G2), both at his favorite track, Churchill Downs, at which he is 4-1-4 from 12 starts. (Another pair of career wins came down the road at Keeneland).
A West coast trip to prep for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup netted him little more than a case of the “thumps” as he finished seventh in the Pacific Classic (G1) and fourth in the Awesome Again (G1) before checking in sixth in the Classic (G1). He closed out the year with a sixth in the Clark (G1), his worst performance at Churchill since coming in seventh in an optional claimer on May 4, 2017.
Post position: No. 4
Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Owner: Charles Fipke
Career record: 31-7-6-7
Career earnings: $3,420,153
Pedigree: Perfect Soul-Seeking the Title, by Seeking the Gold
Running style: Closer
“Churchill-loving closer was surprising second in 2019 Pegasus; repeat very unlikely.’’ – Ed McNamara
“His shining moment happened last year when he won the G2 Stephen Foster, but since then he’s been repeatedly beaten by Higher Power and others, and comes into this race on a streak of four consecutive off-the-board finishes.” – Noel Michaels
Notes: Seeking the Soul has been training steadily at the Fair Grounds since the Clark, his most recent breeze coming on Jan. 17 (5F, 1:00, the fastest off 27 at the same distance) … although he was but 1-1-1 from eight starts last year, the horse’s earnings topped $1.71 million, all of which came in graded stakes and helped propel Dallas Stewart to his best year ever with nearly $4.5 million in purses earned … Since 1997, when he first went out on his own, Stewart has won two graded stakes at Gulfstream Park: the 1998 Forward Gal (G3) with Uanme and the 2005 Herecomesthebride (G3) with Cape Hope.
|1||True Timber||Joe Bravo||Kiaran McLaughlin||15-1|
|2||Tax||Jose Ortiz||Danny Gargan||8-1|
|3||Diamond Oops||Julien Leparoux||Patrick Biancone||15-1|
|4||Seeking the Soul||John Velazquez||Dallas Stewart||30-1|
|5||Omaha Beach (SCR)||Mike Smith||Richard Mandella||SCR|
|6||Higher Power||Flavien Prat||John Sadler||6-1|
|7||War Story||Joel Rosario||Elizabeth Dobles||30-1|
|8||Mr Freeze||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||20-1|
|5||Spun to Run (SCR)||Javier Castellano||Juan Carlos Guerrero||SCR|
|10||Mucho Gusto||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Bob Baffert||9-2|
|11||Tenfold||Tyler Gaffalione||Steve Asmussen||30-1|
|12||Bodexpress||Emisael Jaramillo||Gustavo Delgado||30-1|
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Jenny Kellner is an award-winning journalist and proud owner of Toby, an 11-year-old prize-winning palomino quarter horse. Jenny was among the first female sports columnists in the United States, and has worked for the New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Daily News, and Newsday. Jenny also was a senior media director at the New York Racing Association, and has been an elementary school and middle-school teacher in New York, and currently in Colorado.