Ashland upsetter Weep No More heading to Churchill; Cathryn Sophia bypassing KY Oaks
Edited Press Release
Ashbrook Farm’s upset Ashland (G1) winner Weep No More will head to Churchill Downs on Monday to begin preparations for the 142nd running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6.
“She was going to go to Churchill on Monday whether she ran first, fourth or whatever,” trainer Rusty Arnold said.
“(Assistant) Jack (Bohannan) did all the training with her at Payson and I just tried not to mess it up the last 10 days. The boy that galloped her and her groom at Payson are at Churchill and I did not want to break up a good team.”
The victory was the second in the Ashland for Arnold, who also won in 2012 with Karlovy Vary.
Arnold fell short of sweeping the Ashland and Blue Grass (G1) when Star Hill finished fifth in the latter race.
“I got a little excited at the quarter-pole, but from the 13 hole he (jockey Emisael Jaramillo) had to use him a little more early to get a good position,” Arnold explained. “Unlike the filly, I don’t know what the immediate plan is for him.”
Weep No More finished a neck in front of Rachel’s Valentina, who was making her first start since a runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Keeneland last October. The filly battled Cathryn Sophia and Carina Mia until Weep No More passed the trio in the final yards.
Tristan Barry, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, on Sunday morning reported all is well with Rachel’s Valentina, who will remain at Keeneland for the time being until her next expected start in the Kentucky Oaks.
Cathryn Sophia, who ran third, might be going to Churchill Downs but not for the Oaks, according to trainer John Servis.
“(Owner) Chuck (Zacney) and I talked it over last night and we may leave her here and point to the ($200,000) Eight Belles ([G2] on May 6),” Servis said.
“We will shorten her up a little bit and get her back on track. With the quarantine at Parx, we’ll stay here.”
Cathryn Sophia lost for the first time in five career starts. Saturday’s race was her first time going two turns.
“(Jockey) Javier (Castellano) said she gave him a little run and then kind of hung,” Servis said. “There are a lot of one-turn races coming up.”
Weep No More photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography