Cathryn Sophia states Kentucky Oaks case with bullet move
Cash is King LLC’s Cathryn Sophia, third in the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland April 9, breezed five furlongs in :59.60 Saturday after the renovation break with Paco Lopez aboard. The move, which marked her first work since the race, was Keeneland’s fastest of the morning for five furlongs.
Clockers caught the 3-year-old, Maryland-bred daughter of Street Boss in fractions of :11.60, :23, :35, :59.60 and out in 1:12.60.
“It was pretty much what I wanted,” trainer John Servis said from Parx, while his son, Tyler, is with his two horses at Keeneland.
“Kinda let her work on her own, but I wanted her to gallop out good, which she did. As long as she comes out of it good and everything’s good, I’ll talk to Mr. (Chuck) Zacney (Cash is King’s managing partner) today, and I’m sure we’ll make a decision before the end of the night.”
The decision is whether to enter Cathryn Sophia at Churchill Downs in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at 1 1/8 miles or the $200,000 Eight Belles (G2) at seven furlongs. Both races are on May 6. Cathryn Sophia has 80 Oaks qualifying points to place sixth among the top 14 point earners nominated to the Oaks.
“I would say after that work,” Servis said, “I’m leaning toward going (to the Oaks).”
Cathryn Sophia won the first four races of her career, including the Forward Gal (G2) and Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream, before the Ashland. She has been at Keeneland since March 31.
Servis said the filly likely will head to Churchill Downs on May 1 or May 2. Before then, he said he “might blow her out a little before the race. I’ll let her tell me.”
Also at Keeneland, Reddam Racing’s Land Over Sea continued her Kentucky Oaks preparation with a five-furlong breeze after the break in 1:02.20 with Jonny Garcia aboard.
Working on her own, the Doug O’Neill trainee posted fractions of :12.20, :24.20, :36.40, 1:02.20 and out six furlongs in 1:17.60.
The work was similar to her breeze of April 15, when she covered the same distance in 1:02.80.
“That was by design, just a maintenance move,” said Jack Sisterson, assistant to O’Neill.
Winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in her most recent start, Land Over Sea (pictured) is scheduled to work again next Saturday.
O’Neill added that unlike stablemate Nyquist, the unbeaten Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite who’s an early bird, Land Over Sea enjoys going out to work later.
“I think we will keep Land Over Sea at 9 (a.m.), because the later time works well for her.”
Magdalena Racing’s Dothraki Queen, second in the Alcibiades (G1) and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) here last fall, worked five furlongs in 1:03 after the renovation break with Gary Stevens aboard.
“It was a solid work and Gary was happy with her,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “We are still on the fence about the (Kentucky) Oaks.”
Dothraki Queen, 16th in points earned toward the $1 million race, would need a couple of defections from the list of prospective entrants to make the field that is limited to 14 starters.
In other Oaks news:
Two major Kentucky Oaks contenders drilled at Churchill Saturday morning.
Ashland upsetter Weep No More got back to work by touring a half-mile in :49.20 for Rusty Arnold. Traveling in company with stablemate No Fault, she posted fractions of :25 and :37 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.80.
Gazelle (G2) winner Lewis Bay worked a half-mile in :50.20 in company with Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) victress Wavell Avenue. The Chad Brown pupils were caught in splits of :13.60 and :26 and galloped out five-eighths in 1:03. Wavell Avenue is bound for the Humana Distaff (GI) on Derby Day.
Photos courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography.