Team Soldat hopes for more rain on Derby day


Posted on May 5, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, May 5 at 6:00 PM

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Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - In one corner of barn 41 at Churchill Downs, the Derby preparations may include a rain dance.

Soldat has won races on a variety of surfaces, but at Gulfstream Park he ran away from a good field on a very rainy day.

Team Soldat was washing down their soldier and hoping that there might be more water in his future.

This colt has been Mr. Versatile, winning on grass, dry dirt and especially in the slop, and the aforementioned slop would be a welcome sight on Derby day.  

McLaughlin loves the outside post number 17. But it's also very close to other speed horses. Would a battle develop for the early lead?

“We don't want to go to the lead. We don't know if he wants to go to the lead. The horses with the most speed are Shackleford in 14 and Comma to the Top in post six, they will go,” he said.

McLaughlin says Soldat will tuck in behind the pace and stalk the leaders. But in Florida, Soldat was shuffled back on the rail, and showed a dislike for getting dirt in his face.

“The Gulfstream Park race track is four inches deep; dry that day because it was 90 degrees. Here this is a clay base so it's totally different kickback and we're not concerned about it out in the clear,” said McLaughlin.

For Kiaran McLaughlin, it's time to swing for the fences with a horse that ran on the grass at

Churchill Downs during the last Breeders' Cup.

He was signing a Louisville Slugger for a fan, perhaps just what he needs to hit a homerun in Derby 137.