Undefeated Cathryn Sophia Scores Davona Dale Victory
Undefeated Cathryn Sophia Scores Davona Dale Victory: An appreciative crowd applauded enthusiastically as undefeated Cathryn Sophia returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle following her seven-length triumph in Saturday’s $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2).
In just four career starts, which she has won by a combined 41 ½ lengths, Cash is King LLC’s 3-year-old filly has already developed an adoring fan base.
While handily dismissing five other 3-year-old fillies in the one-mile Davona Dale, the 1-5 favorite showed herself to be filly with rare talent, as well as star quality.
“It’s crazy. I’ve had some nice fillies over time, but to have a horse like Smarty Jones and to have a filly like this, it doesn’t happen, not for a guy from Parx,” said Servis, who saddled Smarty Jones for victories in the 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1). “It’s very exciting. I think she’s just now coming into herself. Timing-wise, May might [be her time].”
In establishing herself as a prime candidate for the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2; April 2) and the Kentucky Oaks (G1; May 6), Cathryn Sophia once again proved to be in a class by herself. Following up a maiden score by 12 ¾ lengths at Parx, a Gin Talking Stakes win by 16 ¼ lengths at Laurel and a Forward Gal (G2) romp by 5 ¼ lengths at Gulfstream, the daughter of Street Boss broke alertly from the starting gate to assume a stalking position between horses along the backstretch, as Dearest and R Girls a Charmer went on to vie for pacesetting honors.
Jockey Javier Castellano opted to ease Cathryn Sophia back behind the leaders, who were aggressively (and briefly) challenged along the rail by 107-1 longshot Bagema.
Cathryn Sophia launched a three-wide bid around the far turn under a motionless Castellano and proceeded to take the lead leaving the turn into the homestretch, never to be threatened while drawing away to victory under a hand ride.
“I really liked the way she did it. It was really impressive. It was the first time I rode her. She did it really easy. I liked the way she started the first quarter mile. She was never rank or anything like that. I covered up behind horses, and when I asked her she took off,” said Castellano, who picked up the mount from an injured Joel Rosario. “I can put her in the best, top quality horses in the country the way she did it.”
Cathryn Sophia ran the one-turn mile in 1:36.6. Lewis Bay, who loomed boldly under Irad Ortiz Jr. leaving the turn into the homestretch before the winner pulled away, finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Dearest.
While winning her third straight stakes victory and second straight Grade 2 event, Cathryn Sophia earned $122,760 to increase her bankroll to $335,520.
“Today, I think was probably, to me, her most impressive race. She trained well going into the race. It was only her fourth start. I think there’s a lot more there,” Servis said. “She’s showed me a little more every time. Today, she was push-button.”
While easily stretching out to a mile Saturday, Cathryn Sophia has instilled confidence in her connections that she will successfully negotiate two-turns.
“I was concerned today about the distance a little bit, and obviously, the way she ran, I feel a whole lot better. She galloped out super,” Servis said. “Javier thinks she’ll get the two turns, no problem. I feel pretty good now.”
Cash is King LLC’s Chuck Zacney shared his trainer’s feelings.
“I was nervous going into race. The pool got a little deeper with talent and she showed her ability today. Talking to Javier after the race he said he had complete control and when he asked her she took off,” Zacney said. “She was very impressive again. We love Florida and five weeks from now is [the Gulfstream Park] Oaks. That will be her next for her.”
Source: Gulfstream Park