Soldier Girl – 1961 (Feb. 18) b. f. by Guerrero – Anita S. by Fair Truckle (GB)
“It’s no “cold war” as far as Soldier Girl is concerned.”
Breeder: Peter Strub
Owner: Mr. and Mrs. John Tusquellas
Trainer: Charlie Comiskey
Record: (13) 9-0-0 / $53,234
1st: Railbird S. (7f,HP), Oceanside H.-Div. II (6f,DM), Bing Crosby H. (6f,DM), Palomar H. (6f,DM), Peninsula H. (6f,BM)
NTR/EWR at Del Mar (8/13/1964): 5f in :56 2/5, carrying 116 lbs.
Referred to as a “big, smooth striding filly,” Soldier Girl was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John Tusquellas as a yearling at Del Mar for $7,400.
Unraced as a 2-year-old, Soldier Girl made her career debut in a six furlong maiden race at Hollywood Park on May 20, defeating Evening Stroll by four lengths in 1:10.
In good form off the win, she would race back in a six furlong allowance on May 28, besting Fran La Femme by a length in 1:09 3/5.
“There’s no telling how good Soldier Girl may be.” – Bion Abbott (Los Angeles Times, 05/29/1964)
The Railbird Stakes (7f) on June 4 was Soldier Girl’s first attempt at a distance longer than six furlongs. Racing on the lead for much of the race, her half-mile time in the Railbird was :43 3/5, the fastest in Hollywood Park history. She would ultimately tire and finish seventh in the field of eleven behind winner Fran La Femme.
“I can’t believe she went that fast with the hold I had,” declared pacemaster John Longden after climbing down from the dead-tired favorite. “She was trying to get out bad down the chute and I had to fight her.” – Bion Abbott (Los Angeles Times, 06/05/1964)
Cutting back to her proven distance of six furlongs, Solider Girl won the Montecito Country Club at Hollywood on June 12 by 6 ½ lengths over Steel Edge in 1:10 2/5. Attempting to stretch out once more – this time to a mile – she would the end the month with a sixth place finish in the Honeymoon Stakes (1 mi.) on June 23, where Gim Mah, Fran La Femme, and Lil’s Nite Out would take the top three spots.
In her final start at Hollywood prior to moving to Del Mar for the rest of the summer, Soldier Girl would take on males in the Ojai Purse (6f) on July 8, defeating Oldie by one length in 1:09 2/5.
Soldier Girl’s first start at Del Mar came in the Oceanside Handicap (6f) on August 1. Due to the number of entrants, the race was split into two divisions. Assigned to the second division and making her second straight start against males, Soldier Girl would win her division of the Oceanside by three lengths over Sir Echo in 1:08 4/5.
“There isn’t a horse in the country that can beat her at five furlongs,” Tusquellas said when it was over. “I’d welcome a match race for her.” – Bob Hebert (Los Angeles Times, 08/02/1964)
Again racing against males, Soldier Girl would win the Culver City Lions Club Handicap (5f) on August 13 by 1 ½ lengths over Rich Mel and Mr. Thong. Her final time of :56 2/5 lowered the previous track record of 1:00 set by Claudian in 1937 by almost four seconds, and equaled the world record for five furlongs set by Bettyanbull at Turf Paradise in 1959 (Bettyanbull herself was a speedball of the highest order, having equaled Lucky Mel’s world record of :56 3/5 for five furlongs at Turf Paradise in February 1958, and then claiming the record outright in 1959). The Culver City Lions Club was an exceptionally fast race, with all seven starters in the race running a sub-1:00 time.
“It’s no “cold war” as far as Soldier Girl is concerned. The hottest thing this turf-and-surf course has seen since the heyday of Crazy Kid marches after another stakes triumph in this afternoon’s $16,125 Bing Crosby ‘Cap.” – Bob Hebert (Los Angeles Times, 08/22/1964)
Prior to Soldier Girl’s start in the Bing Crosby Handicap (6f) on August 22, Tusquellas was offered $100,000 for the filly while in the paddock. At the time, he said he would most likely accept, although he never did. Solider Girl continued her winning ways in the Bing Crosby, winning by 2 ½ lengths in 1:09 2/5. More Megaton and Rich Mel would dead heat for second place.
In her final start at Del Mar on September 9, Soldier Girl won the Palomar Handicap (6f) by two lengths in 1:09 2/5 over Jam N Jellie. Despite being saddled with the heaviest impost of her career at 126 lbs., her five furlong fractional time was :56 2/5, equaling her world record equaling time clocked in the Culver City Lions Club in August.
Following the seasonal closure of Del Mar, Soldier Girl went upstate to Bay Meadows, defeating Mr. Thong in the Peninsula Handicap (6f) on September 19 by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:09 4/5.
Having conquered all there was to conquer on the West Coast, Soldier Girl would travel to Garden State Park in New Jersey for the Quaker City Handicap (6f) on October 12. Her attempted eastern campaign would be disastrous. In the Quaker City, Solider Girl would suffer the third loss of her career, finishing thirteenth in the field of fourteen. The winner, Tosmah, would equal the track record of 1:08 4/5.
Soldier Girl would make one additional start on the east coast in the Interborough Handicap (6f) at Aqueduct on October 21, where she would finish last in the field of six. Affectionately would win.
Retired following her last place finish in the Interborough, Soldier Girl was bred to Nashville in the spring of 1965. She would produce fourteen foals from 1966 to 1984, with her most successful offspring being the graded stakes winning gelding Soldier’s Lark (by T. V. Lark).
Initially owned by Desi Arnaz during her breeding career, Soldier Girl would pass through several hands before being purchased by Tom Gentry for $115,000 (in foal to Wajima) at the 1980 Keeneland November Sale. Gentry’s stock was dispersed at Keeneland in March 1986, where the 25-year-old Soldier Girl (said to be in foal to Encino) would sell for $1,000.
Vatina (1966 ch. c. by Nashville)
Record: (5) 2-0-0 / $5,750 in 2 years of racing (1969, 1972)
Too Many Girls (1967 b. f. by Four-and-Twenty)
Successful producer, ancestress of graded stakes winner Bushwacker.
Born Fighter (1968 b. c. by Nashville)
Record: (3) 2-0-0 / $6,520 in 1 year of racing (1970)
1st: Mid-Peninsula S. (Colts & Geldings) $7,500
Country Soldier (1970 ch. c. by Nashville)
Record: (11) 2-0-3 / $6,220 in 2 years of racing (1972-1973)
Royal George (1970 ch. c. by Vaguely Noble (IRE))
Record: (23) 8-2-3 / $24,979 in 3 years of racing (1974-1976)
No Distress (1972 b. c. by Vaguely Noble (IRE))
Record: (46) 9-6-7 / $71,670 in 5 years of racing (1974-1978)
Battalion Queen (1973 b. f. by T. V. Lark)
Record: (4) 1-0-0 / $5,825 in 2 years of racing (1975-1976)
Soldier’s Lark (1974 b. g. by T. V. Lark)
Record: (63) 18-3-4 / $238,980 in 7 years of racing (1977-1984)
1st: 1977 Roamer H. (G2,AQU); 2nd 1977 Knickerbocker H. (G3,AQU), 1978 Arcadia H. (G3,SA), Capital City H. (PEN)
NCR at the Meadowlands (1978): 1 1/16 mi. in 1:42
Domaroca (1976 dkb/br. c. by Mickey McGuire)
Record: (34) 6-2-5 / $38,890 in 3 years of racing (1979-1981)
Seventh Cavalry (1977 dkb/br. c. by Mickey McGuire)
Record: (8) 4-1-0 / $40,775 in 2 years of racing (1979, 1981)
Dorothy Maud (1978 b. f. by Icecapade)
Record: (3) 1-0-1 / $12,480 in 1 year of racing (1981)
Joyam (1979 b. f. by Wajima)
Record: (7) 0-1-0 / $2,145 in 1 year of racing (1982)
Scoreboard (1981 ch. c. by Wajima)
Record: (8) 0-0-0 / $720 in 2 years of racing (1984)
Col. Travis (1984 b. c. by Wajima)
Record: (25) 2-5-2 / $18,226 in 3 years of racing (1987-1989)