Barn Notes: Seeking the Soul, Tom’s d’Etat, Synchrony

By Ryan Martin

•              Pegasus Runner-Up Seeking the Soul Targets Dubai World Cup; Tom’s d’Etat Eyes New Orleans ‘Cap

•              Synchrony Leads Monday Work Tab


Following their respective second and ninth-place finishes in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup, Seeking the Soul and Tom’s d’Etat returned to their home winter base at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Monday and will likely go down different paths for their next start.

A runner-up behind City of Light at 34-1 odds, Seeking the Soul could target the Group 1 $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on March 30 according to trainer Dallas Stewart.

“It looks like he came out of it great,” Stewart said. “We’ll get him back here, get him rehabbed and get him fixed up. Hopefully we’ll go to Dubai. He can run a long time, he’s real healthy.”

Owned by Charles Fipke, the 6-year-old son of Perfect Soul (Ire.) was bumped at the start, sat well off of the pace and weaved his way through traffic at the top of the stretch to get second. He earned a $1.25 million paycheck from his run in North America’s richest race on Saturday, which enhanced his total career earnings to $2,951,042. Prior to the Pegasus World Cup, Seeking the Soul was third behind Leofric in the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in November, a race which he won in 2017. He was fifth in last year’s edition of the Pegasus World Cup.

A Kentucky homebred, Seeking the Soul is out of the Grade I-place Seeking the Gold broodmare Seeking the Title, who also won the Grade III Iowa Oaks. He is a direct descendant of the undefeated Champion Filly and iconic broodmare Personal Ensign.

While Seeking the Soul is taking his show on the road for his next start, G M B Racing’s Tom’s d’Etat will likely race out of his own stall for his next start and is targeting the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Handicap on March 23.

“He’s back in New Orleans now and we’ll see how he truly came out of the race,” said G M B Racing Manager Greg Bensel “The conditions were not the best, obviously. He lost traction a few times as they were in the turn and never regained his momentum. He seems to be healthy but we’ll give him time to tell us and we’ll look towards the New Orleans Handicap.”

Trained by Al Stall, Jr., the lightly raced 6-year-old son of Smart Strike was four wide through half of the journey, but was unable to make an effective run when asked. He entered the race off of a tetrad of triumphs which included a local stakes win in the Tenacious Stakes and a trio of allowance wins over the main track.

Tom’s d’Etat was bred in Kentucky by SF Racing and is out of the graded stakes placed Giant’s Causeway broodmare Julia Tuttle, whose dam Candy Cane (Arg.) is a full sister to Grade I winner and multiple champion producing stallion Candy Ride (Arg.). He was purchased for $330,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2014 from the consignment barn of Hunter Valley Farm.


Pin Oak Stable’s four-time graded stakes winner Synchrony continued to work toward his 6-year-old debut when working six furlongs in 1:14.00 flat over a fast Fair Grounds main track on Monday morning under jockey Declan Carroll.

Trained by Michael Stidham, the son of Tapit is working towards a repeat win in the Grade III $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap on February 16.

“He had a very good work this morning,” Stidham said. “He’s had a few works going in but this one was a very solid work. He’s coming into this next race well. He loves this turf course, we’re going to get back to business.”

Stidham went on to say that Joe Bravo would return to Fair Grounds to ride Synchrony in the Fair Grounds Handicap.

Synchrony’s foursome of graded stakes wins took place in last year’s Fair Grounds Handicap, the Grade II Muniz Memorial Stakes over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course as well as Monmouth Park’s Oceanport Stakes and Red Bank Stakes – both of which are Grade III events. He has not raced since a troubled third in the Grade II Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar last November.

A Kentucky homebred, Synchrony is out of the eight-time stakes winning broodmare Brownie Points whose winning ways were displayed on both dirt and turf.

Also making appearances on the Monday work tab were last year’s Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks winner Chocolate Martini, who recorded her first breeze of the year with a half-mile work in 49.00 for trainer Tom Amoss and owners Nine Thirty Racing and Double Doors Racing. Lothenbach Stable’s Bell’s the One covered four furlongs in 48.60 for trainer Neil Pessin in preparation for the Grade II $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on February 16. Grade I-placed and Grade II Eight Belles Stakes winner Mia Mischief recorded her first breeze as a 4-year-old and went a half-mile in 51.40 for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. She is owned by Bill and Corrine Heldigbrodt, Heider Family Stables and Madaket Stables.