Soaring Softly, American racehorse, died at 20

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765erwsdrftgySoaring Softly, born 1995 in Kentucky, and died on September 29, 2015, she was an American Thoroughbred Champion racehorse.

Soaring was bred and raced by Joan Phillips and her son John of the renowned Darby Dan Farm.

Her sire is Darby Dan’s outstanding stallion Kris S., a son of the Darby Dan European star grass racer Roberto.

Her dam is the farm’s own mare Wings of Grace, who was a daughter of the 1972 American Champion 3-Year-Old Colt, Key to the Mint.

Soaring was conditioned for racing by Jimmy Toner.

She made her racing debut at age two on October 18, 1997, with a third-place finish in a seven-furlong event for maidens on the dirt track at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

She won her second and final start of the year in a one mile event for maidens at Aqueduct Racetrack on November 11.

Soaring made six starts at age three, winning her first outing on April 24, 1998, at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.

She then returned to Belmont Park for the June 7 Grade 1 Acorn Stakes, in which she finished fourth behind winner Jersey Girl before running sixth in the June 27 Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes, again won by Jersey Girl.

Soaring did not start again until November, when she returned to competing in allowance races at Aqueduct Racetrack, earning two third-place finishes in mile events. In her final start of 1998, on December 5, Soaring ran second in a mile and a sixteenth allowance race.

Wintered in Florida, after she won just one minor race in six starts on dirt in 1998, Soaring’s handlers made the decision to test her on the turf course at Gulfstream Park.

The result was instant success that ended with a Championship year.

Soaring won her first five starts before finishing fifth in the Diana Handicap at Saratoga Race Course in early September.

Then, under new jockey Jerry Bailey, she won the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap at Belmont Park, notably defeating runnerup Coretta.

She capped off the year with her seventh win in eight starts, gaining a second straight victory over runnerup Coretta in the mile and three-eighths Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, hosted that year by Gulfstream Park.

Voted the 1999 American Champion Female Turf Horse, after developing a tissue strain that would have required therapy and a lengthy recovery, on January 1, 2000, a notice of Soaring’s retirement from racing was announced.

As a broodmare, Soaring was bred to top class stallions such as Storm Cat, Gone West, Seeking The Gold and Distorted Humor.

She produced seven foals between 2001 and 2007, none of which have met with much success in racing.

Soaring Softly died in a paddock accident in September, 2015, at the age of 20.

 

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