Winning the G2 West Virginia Derby was a dramatic success for Soul Warrior,  a colt who has had great appeal all his life.

Soul Warrior brought the third-highest price of 20 weanlings sold out of Lion Heart’s first crop of foals, which went through the ring in 2006, selling for $175,000 at the Keeneland November auction. Returned to the sales ring at Keeneland the following September, the handsome colt reached only a hammer price of $95,000, but in the 2008 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s March auction of 2-year-olds in training, Soul Brother caught the fancy of the Zayat Stable selection team, and they bought him for $290,000.

Soul Warrior had shown considerable ability at the presale works, getting a furlong in :10 with a stride length of 25.8, a foot and a half longer than the average stride length for colts breezing an eighth that day.

That information, in conjunction with computations regarding his motion on the track while working, gave him a BreezeFig of 67, one of the highest at the sale.

That he didn’t bring an even higher price was perhaps a factor of size. Most buyers like to buy big horses, and Soul Warrior was only about 15.3 hands at the juvenile sale. That is plenty big, but it isn’t huge ….

Yet his medium size, allied with the knowledge that Soul Warrior was capable of a stride greater than 25 feet, meant that the good-looking colt had every reason to be a high-end racehorse, and so it has proven.

Typical of his sire, Soul Warrior was a handsome colt with a very good head and eye, good length through the body, and a good walk. He turned out both front legs, more so on the right, but walked through well, and looked the part of an athlete.

Even with the conditioning required to make the sale for consignor Nick deMeric, Soul Warrior retained better than average condition and had good bone to support himself.

To date, Soul Warrior has won three of seven starts and earned $589,720.