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My Miss Sophia Controls Pace in Gazelle

My Miss Sophia wins 2014 Gazelle.
Photo: David Alcosser, NYRA
Trainer Todd Pletcher had the two betting favorites in the 119th running of the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle, and they ran to form, with favorite My Miss Sophia leading all the way and Got Lucky rallying from a slow start to finish second.


For Pletcher, the six-time Eclipse Award winner as Outstanding Trainer in the country, this was the first time in his storied career that he had won the Gazelle.


Although only a maiden winner - albeit by 11 lengths March in a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park - My Miss Sophia went off as the 4-5 favorite in the field of six. She figured, in Pletcher's handicapping, to be the isolated speed horse in the field and she opened up by two lengths after a half-mile in an easy 48.23 seconds and rolled home an untested 7 ¼ lengths in front of her uncoupled stablemate, Got Lucky.


The winner, ridden by Javier Castellano, completed the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:50.48 seconds. Got Lucky was a half-length in front of Sweet Reason, followed by Vero Amore, Bird Maker and Wraith.


Pletcher said the race likely set both of his fillies up for runs in the Kentucky Oaks next out.


"It went how we thought it might on paper," Pletcher said. "It looked like [My Miss Sophia] was the only speed, but you never know how a race is going to unfold. It certainly played out the way we thought it would. [Vero Amore] was kind of on her flank a little bit, but it didn't look like she was ever under any pressure."


At the start of the race, My Miss Sophia veered in slightly at the start and Sweet Reason squeezed back Got Lucky. From there, Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez worked out a good trip for the runner-up.


Owned by Mathis Stable, My Miss Sophia has now won two of three starts and earned $211,800. She earned 100 points towards qualifying for the Kentucky Oaks on May 2. She paid $3.60 for a $2 win bet.




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