Photo: Oaklawn Park
Sims and Jerry Namy’s Don’t Tell Sophia was one of the most impressive
runners during Oaklawn’s 2013 meet when she won both the Pippin and
Bayakoa by widening lengths and she was
equally impressive when she repeated that Pippin victory Jan. 18. She
will be heavily favored to pick up her second Bayakoa Stakes victory
when she faces nine other rivals in Sunday’s running of the 1 1/16 mile
Don’t Tell Sophia, a six-year-old Congaree mare, braved the weather and worked a bullet half-mile Wednesday in 47 3/5.
definitely on track for the Bayakoa,” Sims said. “She had a nice
maintenance work the other day and trained Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday. I think she’s sitting okay in there.”
Mark Casse will be taking a double shot at Don’t Tell Sophia while
looking for a little revenge in the Bayakoa, named for the two-time
Eclipse Award-winning Older Mare and winner of the 1989 Apple Blossom
will start Dixie Strike, who carries the colors of John Oxley, and
Sisterly Love, owned by Gary Barber. Sisterly Love tuned up with
a bullet 3f breeze in 35.40 over the Oaklawn strip on Thursday morning.
Love has been idle since finishing sixth behind Don’t Tell Sophia in
the Chilukki Stakes (G2) at Churchill on November 2.
a nice filly and she won some nice races for us in Toronto,” said
Casse. “She ran a
big, big race in the Ontario Matron (G3). Her last start was at
Churchill and she got away bad and she just didn’t run great race so we
gave her a bit of a breather and now she’s back in action. My only
concern with her is that we shipped her out there and
then we had all that bad weather so she hasn’t gotten in as much work
over the track as I would have liked.”
for Dixie Strike, she finished sixth and last against winner Don’t Tell
Sophia in the Pippin Stakes here on January 18 and never was involved
in the race.
last race was a head scratcher,” Casse said. “She trained well going
into the race, even though she only had one breeze over that track after
we brought her from Florida.
We’re finding that some of our horses need two or three breezes and
maybe even a race.”
complete field for the Bayakoa Stakes, in post-position order, with
riders and morning line odds: Don’t Tell Sophia, Channing Hill, 8-5;
Imposing Grace, Israel Ocampo, 8-1; Dreamin
Big, Francisco Torres, 20-1; Sisterly Love, Eurico Da Silva, 5-1; Dixie
Strike, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 12-1; Our Domain, Chris Emigh, 12-1;
Bryan’s Jewel, Seth Martinez, 5-1; Sister Ginger, Ricardo Santana Jr.,
12-1; Fully Living, Jesus Castanon, 12-1, and Maid
on a Mission, Luis Quinonez, 30-1.