Weep No More leaves Ashland rivals crying

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Jen Caldwell

April 9th, 2016

Ashbrook Farm’s Weep No More wasn’t given much chance against the likes of Rachel’s Valentina, Cathryn Sophia and Carina Mia in Saturday’s $500,000 Ashland (G1) at Keeneland, but the Rusty Arnold trainee flew past those rivals to post a neck victory with jockey Corey Lanerie aboard.

Weep No More was nearly 14 lengths behind in last on the backstretch as Carina Mia led the way through splits of :24.18, :47.24 and 1:11.02. Rachel’s Valentina kept her company on the outside while Cathryn Sophia bided her time running just off the leader’s hooves.

Weep No More still trailed in last, but was beginnig to catch up to Banree nearing the turn. Carina Mia, Rachel’s Valentina and Cathryn Sophia were lined up across the track on the bend as Weep No More overtook Banree to be fourth in the lane. Rachel’s Valentina and Cathryn Sophia separated themselves from the early leader and the battle was on in midstrertch.

Suddenly, Weep No More kicked into high gear down on the rail about five-sixteenths from the wire and angled out to the center of the track. The Mineshaft filly flew home to beat Rachel’s Valentina, with Cathryn Sophia another neck back in third. Carina Mia followed by two lengths while Banree completed the order under the wire.

Sent off the 30-1 second longest shot in the short field, Weep No More paid a nice $62.20 to her few, but faithful, backers. She also took home 100 points toward a starting berth in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1), and will line up in that nine-furlong contest, according to Arnold.

Weep No More dropped her career debut sprinting seven furlongs over a sloppy, sealed track at Churchill Downs last November, but has done nothing wrong in three starts now as a sophomore. The chestnut miss broke her maiden going a mile and 40 yards at Tampa Bay Downs on January 22 and stayed at that track and distance to take the Suncoast S. in mid-February.

The filly spent her training time at Payson Park in Florida, and found herself among those quarantined for 21 days when a horse tested positive for EHV-1 on February 29. Weep No More continued to work but was unable to ship out of the training center, and thus was making her first start since the Suncoast in the Ashland. She’s now 4-3-0-0 in her career and has banked $352,269 lifetime.

Bred in Kentucky by Hinkle Farms Inc. and Robert Kessinger, Weep No More is out of the Storm Cat mare Crosswinds, making her a granddaughter of 2001 Kentucky Oaks queen Flute. Crosswinds is a half-sister to Grade 2 victress Filimbi, and this female family also includes multiple Group 1 hero Brian Boru.

Weep No More photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography


Rusty Arnold, trainer Weep No More, winner: “I thought she’d be that far back, and I told her (my wife, Sarah) about the half-mile pole, ‘I think she can get up for third from here.’ She just kept going, and they backed up a little bit. It was nice for the (owner) Bromagens, and we’ve been pointing for this race for two months.”

On her keys to big improvement: “Two turns, and she just came around. Each race she’s been better and better. Did we expect this? Not quite, but she’s a step ahead of us.

“We’ve got the mile and eighth in the (Kentucky) Oaks (G1) coming up. Jack Bohannan did all the work with her. She was under quarantine at Payson, and he trained her two months. Great job.”

Corey Lanerie, jockey Weep No More, winner: “At the top of the lane, to be honest, I didn’t think I would get up. I was rolling, I had a lot of horse, but with the short stretch, I was hoping to be third. Then about 70 yards from the wire, I was like, ‘C’mon baby – we can get it.’ She kept running and ran a huge race. Thanks to Rusty and them for the opportunity. What a great training job. He gave me all the confidence in the world, just to ride her, let her run her race and see what happens.”

Florent Geroux, jockey Rachel’s Valentina, second: “I had a great trip. Cathryn Sophia came to me a little bit earlier than what I wanted her to, but it’s part of the game; it’s a race. (Weep No More) came from nowhere and just nailed us right at the end.”

Javier Castellano, jockey Cathryn Sophia, third: “It was a perfect trip; it was what I was looking for today. You have to be prepared (to duel with a good horse). It was her first time going two turns – I don't know how far she likes to go. She will move forward after this race. She tried. Today was a good test.”

John Servis, trainer Cathryn Sophia, third: “The jockey said she did everything easy. He doesn’t know if she wants to go this far. I was fine (with the stretch duel), I know how gutsy she is. I really got worried when I saw (Weep No More) running through the lane. Reminded me of Birdstone (who defeated Servis’ Triple Crown hopeful Smarty Jones in the 2004 Belmont [G1]) a little bit.”

Julien Leparoux, jockey Carina Mia, fourth: “(The trip) was good. She was on the lead and just got tired. She was coming off a long layoff but she tried. She ran good.”

On whether he planned to go to the lead: “We didn’t really have a plan, (the race) just came up like this. We had a great post so I just kind of let her break and (saw) where she wanted to be. She just got tired at the end.”