Cathryn Sophia stays perfect in Forward Gal
The John Servis trainee broke a step slow and found herself in the rear of the short six-filly field as Island Saint led the way through splits of :22.71 and :45.54 with Ballet Diva pressing just off her flank.
Cathryn Sophia and jockey Joel Rosario made their forward while saving ground on the rail, but found the way blocked with Island Saint in front and Rontos Lily to their outside entering the final turn. The duo bided their time until Rontos Lily opened up a space when going slightly wide.
Slipping through to be four wide entering the stretch, Cathryn Sophia finally unleashed her run and easily pulled away to stop the clock in 1:22.04 for seven furlongs over Gulfstream’s fast main track.
Island Saint was best of the rest, 4 3/4 lengths up on Ballet Diva in third. Rontos Lily rounded out the top four another three lengths back.
The Forward Gal is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races and awarded Cathryn Sophia 10 points toward a starting berth in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. Island Saint debuted on the Oaks leaderboard with four points while Ballet Diva and Rontos Lily took home two points and one point, respectively.
Cathryn Sophia is now three-for-three and has banked $212,760 in career earnings. The Maryland-bred Street Boss filly was purchased by Charles J. Zacney (Cash is King LLC) for only $30,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale and comes from the same female family as champion turf mare and French highweight Miss Alleged.
Cathryn Sophia photo courtesy of Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography
FORWARD GAL QUOTES
John Servis (trainer, Cathryn Sophia): “She showed me a lot of diversity for sure. She broke a little bit slow her first start, but she was so much better than them. It wasn't far and she was by herself. Today, Joel (Rosario) let her sit back there and eat some dirt, and she settled nice. She got tucked in behind horses and waited patiently. He said when he called on her, she just kicked.
“When I saw her switch back to her left lead late, I asked Joel about that, and he said she was just getting bored. He said, ‘When I asked her she just kicked.' She ran away from those horses pretty easy and was looking for something else.
“I think she'll handle a mile well (in the Davona Dale). She'll probably break a lot sharper next time. She hadn't run for a couple months and I hadn't gotten her back to the gate. She's got a great mind. I think now that she broke again and has figured out what she's supposed to be doing, she'll leave there running next time and be pretty close, pretty easy.
“Actually, believe it or not, I was more impressed with this race than I was with the first two. She beat a decent field of horses today and the way she did it today, she did it like a good filly.”
Joel Rosario (jockey, Cathryn Sophia): “She's a nice filly. I thought she was going to be fast out of the gate and she actually took a little bit of time. When we got to the top of the stretch she had a beautiful stride and it was all her after that. She was game the whole way. It was very impressive.”
Chuck Zacney (owner, Cathryn Sophia): I didn't see the break. I was standing near the finish line. Then I heard the call that she was fifth and I was like, ‘What happened?' Then I saw her moving up. Joel rode her confidently. Then at the top of the stretch I saw her go three-wide and I felt pretty good, and then she kind of drew off. It was a great time, 1:22.
“It's pretty exciting, and we love Gulfstream and the program here. We're going to try the mile race (Davona Dale) next.”