Photo: Oaklawn Park
Sims and Jerry Namy’s Don’t Tell Sophia hopes to once again establish
herself as one of Oaklawn’s leading older females when she goes for the
repeat in Saturday’s $100,000 Pippin
Stakes. The 6-year-old Congaree mare, who will face only five rivals,
also won Oaklawn’s Bayakoa Stakes last year, was second in the Grade 3
Azeri Stakes and finished third in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap.
Tell Sophia was given the summer and returned last October to post a
second in the $100,000 Mari Hulman George Stakes at Indiana Downs. One
start later she captured her first graded
stakes victory in the Chilukki Stakes (G2) and closed out 2013 with a
second in Falls City Handicap (G2), both at Churchill Downs. Since
returning to Hot Springs she has posted two solid workouts over the
track, including a bullet half mile in 49 3/5 Jan.
11. Jockey Channing Hill gets the mount for the first time.
absolutely loves the surface here,” said Sims. “The bullet work over
the weekend was perfect for her; she did it all on her own. She’s such a
classy filly and just so much fun to
Oxley’s millionaire mare Dixie Strike could vie for favoritism with
Don’t Tell Sophia. The 5-year-old Dixie Union mare, trained by Mark
Casse, most recently finished second in the
Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine Nov. 2 to close out a modest
2013, but could be tough to beat, especially if she runs back to her
2012 form. That year, she competed against the colts in all three legs
of Canada’s Triple Crown and won the Prince of Wales
Stakes and was third in the Queens Plate. Regular rider Eurico Da
Silva, riding at Oaklawn for the first time this season, has the call
Farms’ Sister Ginger has also shown a fondness for Oaklawn, winning
last year’s $75,000 Martha Washington Stakes. She won three straight
races last summer, including the Indiana
Grand Stakes and most recently finished fourth in the $300,000 Zia Park
Oaks. The 2013 leading jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. and trainer Steve
Asmussen team up with the 4-year-old Student Council filly.
Pippin Stakes also drew Remington Park Oaks winner Sticks Wondergirl,
stakes placed Fully Living, and impressive allowance winner Custody.
complete Pippin field, in post-position order, with riders and morning
line odds: Sister Ginger, Ricardo Santana Jr., 6-1; Sticks Wondergirl,
Jon Court, 8-1; Don’t Tell Sophia, Channing
Hill, 4-5; Custody, Luis Quinonez, 6-1; Fully Living, Jesus Castanon,
12-1, and Dixie Strike, Eurico Da Silva, 7-2.