Cathryn Sophia tops Davona Dale, X Y Jet set to sizzle in GP Sprint
The Davona Dale, named for the champion three-year-old filly of 1979, is a "Championship Season" prep as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks Series. Eligibility points of 50-20-10-5 will be awarded to the top four finishers.
Cathryn Sophia, who races for Afleet Alex's owners, Cash is King LLC, and trained by John Servis, was a blowout, 12 3/4-length winner of her debut at Parx in October, and followed up with a 16 1/4-length romp in the $100,000 Gin Talking at Laurel.
Favored at 1-10 in her sophomore debut, the January 30 Forward Gal (G2) at Gulfstream, the Street Boss filly overcame a four-length deficit caused by a slow start and won in hand by 5 1/2 lengths. Javier Castellano takes the reins Saturday from the recently-injured Joel Rosario.
Also looking to remain undefeated is Dearest, who is two-for-two after a first-level allowance win by 1 1/4-lengths going seven furlongs. The Midshipman filly debuted at Gulfstream Park West in November, winning by two lengths over returning rival R Girls a Charmer, a recent four-length scorer in the $82,000 Gasparilla at Tampa Bay Downs.
The Gasparilla was R Girls a Charmer's first start for owner Gary Barber and trainer Mark Casse, who acquired the filly privately following her 6 3/4-length maiden win January 2.
Todd Pletcher will saddle Lewis Bay and Thrilled in the Davona Dale. The pair ran one-two in a pedestrian renewal of the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct November 28. Lewis Bay, in her first start since a six-length maiden win, won by 1 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:53 2/5 for nine furlongs. The Demoiselle was the third time Thrilled had settled for second in stakes company having also placed in the $100,000 P.G. Johnson and Miss Grillo (G3) on turf.
The Davona Dale field is rounded out by Rontos Lily, a distant fourth in the seven-furlong Forward Gal, and the claiming-class Bagema.
Besides the featured Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Davona Dale, the only other main track stakes on Gulfstream's 13-race Saturday card is the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) at 6 1/2 furlongs.
X Y Jet, riding on a four-race win streak that includes the Mr. Prospector (G3) and $150,000 Sunshine Million Sprint, figures to be an overwhelming favorite to make it five as he preps for next month's Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at Meydan.
Also lining up is Ready for Rye, who won the Swale (G2) over this track last year before making a name for himself on turf later in the season. Candip and Trouble Kid, one-two in a recent Gulfstream allowance, are also among the field of eight.
(Cathryn Sophia photo: Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)