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ELMONT, NY – Nootka Sound won Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Soaring Softly Stakes at Belmont Park with ease when she wired the five-horse field. This was first career graded stakes victory for the three-year-old filly and her second win in her 2018 campaign.
Nootka Sound broke best and was comforable to set the early pace. Her fractions came in at :22.61, :45.75, and :1:10.89. Just off the pace sat the even-money favorite Elevenses followed by Strategic Dreams and March X Press with Brattata taking up the rear. As they entered the turn, it looked like Elevenses would challenge Nootka Sound as she drew alongside, yet Nootka Sound opened up and easily put distance between herself and the rest of the field. As they hit the top of the stretch, Nootka Sound had a two-length lead and it was clear nobody was going to catch her. Nootka Sound won by four lengths and the rest of the field followed in order without any passing. Elevenses finished second followed by Strategic Dreams in third and March X Press in fourth.
“It didn’t matter if it was turf or dirt today, I felt like she was going to handle the surface anyway,” said jockey Dylan Davis. “When she came out of the gate she knew what she had to do. She settled pretty nice for me and didn’t mind the horse just to her outside [Elevenses] and she knew what she had to do turning for home. She picked up another gear and got it done.”
Nootka Sound returned $10.40 to win, $3.90 to place, and $3.10 to show. Elevenses brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Strategic Dreams paid $3.10 to show.
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