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Don't Tell Sophia Sets Sights on Azeri

Don't Tell Sophia Sets Sights on Azeri
Photo: Oaklawn Park

Don’t Tell Sophia has already won the Pippin and Bayakoa Stakes this meet and has now set her sights on the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (G3) March 16. If her work Saturday is any indication, she’s more than ready to take the next step up into graded stakes competition. The 5-year-old Congaree mare breezed a half mile in 48 4/5 with jockey Robby Albarado on board.

“It was just a little maintenance work,” said trainer Phil Sims, who co-owns the mare with Jerry Namy. “The track was pretty dry because of the cold, so I didn’t really ask for a lot of speed like that, but that’s okay. She’s fit. (Is she Royal Delta-level?) That might be a pretty far reach, but I had a pretty good horse in the Breeders’ Cup a couple years ago [Hot Cha Cha] and this filly was 2 at the time, and even then, I was already thinking she was just as good. I’ve thought a lot of her for a long time. I don’t know if she can keep doing it or not, but she has always acted like something special.”

“She feels good,” added Albarado. “She’s got to prove it eventually, but if she stays healthy, she possibly could be one of the top fillies, top mares this year. It was just a little maintenance half-a-mile. Phil just wanted to get a little air in her. She’s been doing things pretty easy lately. It’s kind of scary how good she’s getting.”

Two of Don’t Tell Sophia’s main competitors for the Azeri also worked Saturday. She’s All In, second in the Bayakoa, went five furlongs in 1:03 3/3 and defending Azeri champ Tiz Miz Sue, third in the Bayakoa, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5.



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