Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Soup and Sandwich romps for Mark Casse

January 31st, 2021

The final week of January produced several noteworthy three-year-old maiden winners at tracks across the country. Particularly impressive was Soup and Sandwich, who delivered an eye-catching debut at Gulfstream Park.

Let’s recap the latest names to know on the Road to the Kentucky Derby:

He’s in Charge

He’s in Charge never fired in his debut on Tapeta at Turfway Park, but switching to dirt on Saturday at Fair Grounds made a big difference. Sent off at 28-1 in his first start for trainer Al Stall, He’s in Charge settled in fourth place behind fast splits of :21.71 and :44.81, then rallied down the stretch to win the six-furlong sprint by 3 1/4 lengths.

A son of successful sire Candy Ride, He’s in Charge was produced by Schuylerville (G3) winner Brazen Persuasion, a daughter of Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner and Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Indian Charlie. He’s in Charge has the pedigree to handle two turns just fine and figures to stretch out in the near future.

Soup and Sandwich

Facing a field of Florida-breds over 6 1/2 furlongs on Thursday at Gulfstream Park, the first-time starter Soup and Sandwich left no doubt about his superiority. With Irad Ortiz in the saddle for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, the Live Oak Plantation homebred showed tractability rating in second place through a :22.63 opening quarter, then took command and powered clear to win eased up by 7 1/4 lengths.

Soup and Sandwich reached the finish line in a quick 1:16.82 and may have a bright future against open company. A son of two-time leading sire Into Mischief out of a mare by Tapit, Soup and Sandwich boasts a pedigree blending speed with stamina, which is typically a recipe for success on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The Reds

Racing over a very slow and tiring track on Sunday at Aqueduct, The Reds showed off his stamina in a 1 1/8-mile maiden race. In his fifth start for trainer John Kimmel, the son of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tonalist raced at the back of a compact field, then threaded his way between rivals to reach contention at the top of the stretch. From that point on, The Reds was much the best, surging clear to beat four rivals by 3 3/4 lengths.

The slow final time of 1:56.21 was surely more of a testament to the track conditions than the performance of The Reds, who looked quite sharp visually. It’s clear stamina isn’t an issue for the chestnut colt, who was produced by Indiana Oaks (G2) runner-up Ash Zee. The Gotham (G3) or the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct could be possible targets for The Reds, a May foal who is bred to improve with maturity.