Haskin's Belmont Report: Farther the Better For Golden Soul

When you get right down to it, the Belmont Stakes is all about stamina; horses running a distance they likely will never run again. You can throw out speed figures and any other handicapping tool you use. They don’t apply here. At least most of the time.

That is why a favorite hasn’t won the Test of the Champion since Afleet Alex in 2005. And that is why from 2008 to 2011, the winners have gone off at odds of 38-1, 11-1, 13-1, and 24-1. And let’s not forget Birdstone at 36-1 in 2004 and Sarava at 70-1 in 2002.

The only problem is, some of those winners had mile and a half pedigrees and some didn’t, at least not on the surface.

So, as confusing as the Belmont can get, stamina still in the long run is the most valuable tool. And some horses have pedigrees so inundated with stamina you don’t need to be an expert to pick them out. When that stamina also is combined with top-class middle-distance speed, you have all the pedigree credentials necessary to win a race like the Belmont.

Although there are several horses in this year’s race who should have no problem getting the mile and a half, the one horse who actually was bred with the Belmont in mind and who has classic influences everywhere you look is Golden Soul, who used that stamina to get up for second in the Kentucky Derby.

Although he has come from far back in his last two races, don’t think this colt doesn’t have the tactical speed to lay closer in the Belmont. To start with, Golden Soul is by the top-class grass miler Perfect Soul, who won the Shadwell Turf Mile and Maker’s Mark Mile and set a course record for a mile at Keeneland of 1:33 2/5.

Perfect Soul is by Sadler’s Wells, one of the most influential sires in the history of the sport. The son of Northern Dancer was the champion sire in England and Ireland 14 times and was Great Britain’s leading sire for 11 straight years. He had the speed to win the English 2,000 Guineas as well as the 1 1/4-mile Eclipse Stakes and the stamina to run second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the French Derby. In all, Sadler’s Wells sired 323 stakes winners and 80 group/grade I winners.

Perfect Soul’s broodmare sire is Triple Crown winner Secretariat and his maternal great-grandsire is Exclusive Native, who sired Triple Crown winner Affirmed.

Golden Soul’s female family is loaded with classic European influences, although he is a half-brother to Lexington Stakes winner Quinton’s Gold Rush. His second dam, Lady in Silver, won the French Oaks and ran second in the Arlington Million as a 3-year-old. Lady in Silver is by Silver Hawk, who was second in the Irish Derby, third in the English Derby, and the sire of 76 stakes winners and six millionaires, including English Derby winner Benny the Dip. Silver Hawk also is the great-grandsire of Belmont and Preakness winner Afleet Alex. Silver Hawk’s sire is English Derby winner Roberto, whose dam, Bramalea, won the 1 1/2-mile Coaching Club American Oaks.

Lady in Silver’s dam, Lorn Lady, is by Lorenzaccio, who upset the great Nijinsky II in the Champion Stakes. Lorenzaccio is by French 2,000 Guineas winner Klairon.

So, Golden Soul’s pedigree is inundated with class and the perfect balance of stamina and mile to middle distance speed, both in the U.S. and Europe. Credit must be given to his breeder Charles Fipke, who uses a scientific approach (being a scientist himself) in selecting his pedigrees. He does this by incorporating various pedigree and nicking methods with his own formula, and so far it has paid off, with Golden Soul and Blue Grass Stakes winner Java’s War this year alone, as well as Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Perfect Shirl, a daughter of Perfect Soul.


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I did nicely with my boy, Golden Soul in the Derby.  I will stick with him for the Belmont.  I'm gonna play the Golden Soul / Unimited Budgett exacta.  (So far, picking longshots appears to work well this year.)

p.s.  I always liked Perfect Soul and I would like to see  his son get a classic.

04 Jun 2013 4:03 PM
Old Yeller

Mr.Haskin, I have been a Revolutionary fan all year, and  also Oxbow who came thur in the Preakness. I agree with you that Oxbow finally got a good post draw in the Preakness. Does it in your opinion post draw is as important in the Belmont, which maybe this year might be because of a big field or does the extra distance make it less important.Thanks .

04 Jun 2013 4:10 PM
Old Yeller

History is History, and I think when we bring the distance question into the 2004 Belmont and Birdstone at 36/1 let us not forget what Smarty Jones was subjected too ! Nuff said !

04 Jun 2013 4:21 PM
Love 'em all

And Golden Soul is no longer the baby of the TC runners.  Freedom Child is four days younger (May 18th) than GS.  That makes five "May babies" for the TC races this year.  Gotta love the month of May!

Cheers to Golden Soul.

04 Jun 2013 4:37 PM
Abigail Anderson

Steve: I'm on the same page regarding Golden Soul. I have always liked Perfect Soul and this colt has a really nice pedigree. When he came on to grab second in the Derby I was as pleased as I was for Orb and his connections. It would be great to have a descendant of Secretariat win the Belmont as we celebrate Big Red's astounding performance 40 years ago. With 9 other runners carry Secretariat, I figure I am likely to get my wish!!!!

04 Jun 2013 5:11 PM

Below is and extract from one of my posts under Derby Dozen dated April 23, 2013.

“Golden Soul closed from another Zip Code to snatch 4th place in the LA Derby. If the LA Derby has not been reviewed in-depth, Golden Soul’s electrifying move from last and 10L wide trip is hardly noticeable.”  

Based purely on his LA Derby effort and pedigree I placed a few tickets on this colt to win.  I included him in some of my exotics and his with exacta with Orb allowed me to finish just below break-even for the Derby. I went overwhelming for Revolutionary. I cannot believe I was focused on a colt from the barn of a trainer whose Derby record reads 1 for 31.

Golden was produce from a Mr. Prospector mare. The great stallion sired 490 mares and to date none have produced the winner of at TC race. While his mares have been disappointing in the Triple Crown, his lines of stallions have sired the winners of 11 of the last 15 Belmonts.  His mares must now be few in numbers and when seen in pedigrees of classic contenders, the question arises as to whether 10-12F is outside their scope. Mr. Prospector was a middle distance horse.

Golden Soul jointed Pulpit with his 2nd place finish in the Derby as the only horses produced from a Mr. P’s mare that have made the Derby board. It would be a tribute to the great stallion if 14 years after his passing a horse produced by one of his daughters could win a race that has been dominated by his sire line.

04 Jun 2013 5:56 PM
It aint easy being good!

Golden Soul! Lets break it down people. 2nd in the derby check! Gets better the longer they go check! Has a jockey that knows the track check! Has had 35 days to recover check! Has the pedigree check! Dont over think it he will be right there.

04 Jun 2013 6:41 PM

What an interesting creature this Golden Soul is, this article forced me to take a good, hard look at him.  This is a very informative article Steve.  He even has ties to Afleet Alex.  Golden Soul could be a big factor in the Belmont.  I am liking Orb, Oxbow, Rev, and Golden Soul.  I don't doubt Oxbow, Paynter was 2nd in the Belmont, and Oxbow seems to be peaking at the right time and same time.  Paynter of course went on from his 2nd in the Belmont to ace the Haskell last year.

Steve you have said two key points in running the Belmont, stamina is the important tool and you cannot get caught too wide on the first or second turn.  I agree.  Conserving energy is important and timing is crucial and done perfectly by Jeremy Rose aboard Afleet Alex.  And you cannot go wide, you know what I say if you get caught too wide on the clubhouse turn, then you end up way out in left field at Yankee Stadium and Derek Jeter has to ride you back into the race!  Of course that is an exaggeration of the width of the turn but the oval is big at Big Sandy.  I am glad to see such a big field of contenders too, a rich, deep field.  

Today is picture perfect in NJ, Tuesday, no humidity, sunny, in the 70's.  Tomorrow looks like much of the same and possibly Thursday.  Then it looks like it all goes to hell come Saturday and so far rain is forecast for the Belmont.  I hope that changes at least I am hoping it does.  The horses have run in enough slop and strange tracks on this tc trail.

Good luck to all, all horses come back safe.

04 Jun 2013 7:35 PM

If you want to talk breeding, you have to pound Incognito...I want Jimmy Bell to win this for his wife!!  Don't be fooled people especially by that Preakness debacle.  You need a grinder in the Belmont period!  

04 Jun 2013 7:46 PM

If you want to talk breeding, you have to pound Incognito...I want Jimmy Bell to win this for his wife!!  Don't be fooled people especially by that Preakness debacle.  You need a grinder in the Belmont period!  

04 Jun 2013 7:47 PM
It aint easy being good!

Coldfacts you saved me for the derby with Golden Soul thank you! Your write up about him was spot on and am kicking myself that I tossed him out of my exacta last minute for vyjack who I didnt even like!!!!! Anways what do you think of Palace Malice and Golden Soul's chances in the Belmont? Also people are all over Overanalyze I understand Johhny V on him but this horse is way overrated! My longshot pick is going to be giant finish!!! He has the breeding for this race and is a fresh horse.

04 Jun 2013 8:52 PM

I rooted for Golden Soul as my horse in the Derby and practically went hoarse cheering for him!  I don't bet, but I'll be rooting for him as "my pick" in the Belmont too.  Love the breeding of Perfect Soul - Sadlers Wells top and Secretariat bottom, combined with Mr. Prospector mare - what a match!  I'm a forever Secretariat fan, and a fan of Golden Soul, and I hope for great success for the stallion Perfect Soul. Thanks for the informative article Steve. Love your writing!  

04 Jun 2013 10:27 PM

Gotta love those chestnut horses that go back to Secretariat. He is a very nice looking horse. Oh my..it is getting harder and harder to make my final pick. Orb is still at the top of my list...a run for redemption!

04 Jun 2013 10:58 PM

Belmont goings-on:

Last night Orb and Oxbow decided to pull a "Florida Georgia Line."  They were in attendance at Pimlico when the hot, new, young, country duo performed, but nobody knew, no two leggers anyway.  So, with the Rooster perched upon Orb's back, he and Oxbow set out to Unlimited Budget's (Mike Repole's filly) stall and sang to her in the moonlight:

Orb & Oxbow: "..........Oh good Lord she had them long tanned legs

Couldn't help myself so I walked up and said,

Baby you a song

You make me want to roll my windows down and cruise

Down a back road blowin' stop signs

Through the middle

Every little farm town with you.

Got a brand new Chevy with a lift kit,

Would look a whole lot better with

you up in it.

Baby you a song

You make me want to roll my windows down and cruise."

Rooster:  "..........windows down and croooooooose, windows down and cruise!"

Happy Belmont to all!

04 Jun 2013 11:30 PM

I recently saw Perfect Soul at Darby Dan. I could not find fault with him. He had the perfect conformation for a distance horse. I hope to see more of Golden Soul, hopefully in Europe.

04 Jun 2013 11:35 PM


Excellent pedigree analysis. This Golden Soul is bred for the distance even if his best performances may yet be on the turf.  He definitely has to be considered in all calculations of the outcome. He has to improve to beat Orb and is quite capable since he improved sgnificantly to turn the tables on his La Derby conquerors Mylute the overrated Revolutionary in the Kentucky Derby. I think that he and the rest of the field however may find Freedom Child that missed the Derby, in a different league at this stage.

05 Jun 2013 1:22 AM
Ted from LA

mz, you are the perfect soul.

05 Jun 2013 2:49 AM

It aint easy being good!

El Padrino + Verrazano = What?

My only concern regarding Golden Soul is the fact that his best races have been at CD. The surface at CD seems to favor turf type horses and his pedigree screams stamina but overwhelmingly turf.

The big question is, how will he handle the deep and sandy Belmont strip?

Although he broke his maiden at the Fairground, his four races there did not compare to the two at Churchill Downs. He was a fast closing second in both races at CD, whereas he appeared to labor in the stretch in all three graded races contested the Fairground.

05 Jun 2013 5:38 AM

The only part of Golden Souls pedigree that does not shout 1 1/2 miles is his broodmare sire.  Mr Prospector, for all his greatness is not noted for stamina.  Yes he sired a Belmont winner, but one who won over a weak field and a soupy track.  Mr P is noted for distance up to 1 1/4 miles.  Another 1/4 mile doesn't seem to far, but it is.  Just ask all the jockeys who were coming around the turn at Churchill and had a ton of horse and as soon as the horse saw they had another 1/4 mile, spit the bit and gave up.  Same thing here.  There is no doubt Golden Soul is a nice horse and will probably make noise later in the year.  IF he wins Saturday, it will be because of his 2nd and 3rd dams stamina and that which he gets from his sire.  

05 Jun 2013 12:39 PM

I disagree horse stamina comes from the dam then the sire his dam side has none.

05 Jun 2013 12:49 PM
It aint easy being good!

Coldfacts I got off of Verrazzano he was not the beast eveyone claimed him to be. People get all worked up about mile horses year in and year out. OK people we can move onto another blog Golden Soul has no chance at post 14!I have watched the last couple of belmonts seems as though inside post have done well with the last three winners all coming from post 3 mmmmmmmmm

05 Jun 2013 2:34 PM

I have an opinion on Golden Soul and that is that he was aided by the race shape and the track condition in the Kentucky Derby.

He was helped by a too fast pace and by being on the inside of the track.

I will take bets on him Versus Revolutionary,on who will finish ahead of the other.

05 Jun 2013 7:05 PM

Verazano is still a damn good colt and I expect more wins from him in routes later this year.

He wont be running at shorter distances the next couple of races to prove to the ones that count owner and trainer if they should shorten him up.

Orb won the Derby and threw in a clunker in the Preakness(I dont wamt to hear why he lost)thats why I am not making any excuses for Verazano or any of the others that I had on top that which includes Orb.

05 Jun 2013 7:11 PM
Pedigree Ann

Wow, somebody actually promoting stamina in American horses! Be still, my heart. Can we put the Super Derby and Swaps S. and Strub back to 10f, please?

05 Jun 2013 8:53 PM


While I am in concurrence that none of 490 mares comprising Mr. Prospector's 490 broodmare band have produced the winner of a Triple Crown race. However, he was just too great a stallion that one of his mares cannot breakthrough even at this late stage.

Mr. Prospector was 26 years old when he sire the eventual 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. He would eventually die 2 years later. The dam of Golden Soul was 15 years old when she conceived him. Is it possible that like her sire she have gotten better with age like a fine wine?

When 2009 Belmont winner Summer Bird past the post he was followed by Dunkirk, Mine That Bird and Charitable Man. All four horses on the board were from the Mr. Prospector sire line via Birdstone, Unbridle Song and Lemon Drop Kid.

The dam of 2012 Belmont winner Union Rags is Gone West a son Mr. Prospector. The dam of Derby winner and Belmont 3rd place finisher Mine That Bird is Smart Strike a son of Mr. Prospector. . The dam of Derby winner Barbaro was Cason City a son of Mr. Prospector Mr. P through is stallions has proven to be very potent at both end of the pedigree chart. When one of his daughters produces a colt that finishes fast closing 2nd in the Derby, this animal should not be taken lightly as it was produced from a daughter of one of the greatest sire and sire of sires the world has known.

NB: Unraced mares make the best broodmares. The 2013 Belmont field is packed with contenders from unraced mares i.e., Oxbow, Golden Soul, Midnight Taboo, Overanalyze and Vyjack. A five horse exacta box is $20 and a Tri is $60. Go for It!

06 Jun 2013 10:30 AM
Lise from Maine


Good luck to Golden Soul and Robby Albarado!

You can do it!

I enjoyed reading about his pedigree.

Thank you!

Lise from Maine

07 Jun 2013 1:46 PM

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