PHOTO: Coglianese Photography/Lauren King
HOW HE GOT HERE
Soup and Sandwich was unraced as a 2-year-old and did not make his first start until January 28th of 2021. On debut he faced a small field of five competitors at Gulfstream Park going 6 1/2 furlongs. He started alertly and broke on top, jockey Irad Ortiz could tell he had a lot of horse underneath him and allowed him to settle about two lengths off the lead; at the top of the stretch, he drew away from the field winning easily. In his second outing four weeks later at Tampa Bay Downs, he faced an even smaller field versus two other horses in an allowance race, going two turns at a distance of 1 mile 40 yards. Not really challenged by the level of competition, he won without exerting much effort. At this point with an unbeaten, well-bred speedy colt, the connections decided to see what they had and enlisted him in the Florida Derby. In the Grade 1 Florida Derby, Soup and Sandwich ran a solid race finishing second, earning 40 Kentucky Derby qualifying points in front running fashion. Breaking from position 8 he demonstrated his early natural speed clearing all but two of his fellow competitors. Settling well off the first turn, jockey Johnny Velazquez looked to be content to sit off the speed in the clear on the outside, but Soup and Sandwich wanted to go on with it and took the lead down the back stretch. Leading throughout the turn, after a moderate pace, he finished second to fellow Kentucky Derby entrant Known Agenda, tiring slightly on his left lead.
HOW HE FITS HERE
Soup and Sandwich is by Into Mischief, who’s progeny are some of the best runners currently, so much so that he holds the single season progeny earnings record. His dam Souper Scoop is by Tapit, and Tapit was the leading North American sire for 3 years straight (2014 – 2016). Based on pedigree and the races that he has competed in so far; we can easily discern the talent level of this well-bred youngster. He is very talented and fast but also does not have a lot of experience. The likelihood of him getting a soft pace in the Derby is slim to none based on the sheer number of guaranteed entrants, and his only race in which he rated was against two inferior runners. Although he finished second in the Florida Derby, the race was not a remarkably fast pace and he finished well but on his left lead. Could there be distance limitations with this lightly raced colt or his he simply still figuring it all out? Conversely on the positive side of the coin, Soup and Sandwich breaks well and is capable of securing early position, two attributes that have proven to be essential recently to doing well in the Kentucky Derby. In attempting to answer the question as to how he fits here my humble opinion canters back and forth but ultimately lands on very well but it’s just too much too soon.
I believe that the best is yet to come for this beautiful grey Mark Casse trainee. Not having a solid foundation of tough races and the lack of experience are factors that are a lot to overcome for any talented Thoroughbred athlete, which Soup and Sandwich most definitely is. His overall chance of winning the Derby is in-line with his morning line odds of 30-1. His name alone will attract many casual fans and I anticipate his odds to be significantly lower when post time arrives. From a wagering perspective I would not exclude him from the exotic vertical ones, including the Superfecta and the Super-High 5.