Don't Tell Sophia Ready to Defend Bayakoa Title
February 15, 2014 04:07pm
Don't Tell Sophia Ready to Defend Bayakoa Title
Photo: Oaklawn Park

Phil 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 race.

Don’t Tell Sophia, a six-year-old Congaree mare, braved the weather and worked a bullet half-mile Wednesday in 47 3/5.

“She’s 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.”

Trainer 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 (G1) here.

Casse 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.

Sisterly Love has been idle since finishing sixth behind Don’t Tell Sophia in the Chilukki Stakes (G2) at Churchill on November 2.

She’s 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.”

As 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.

“Her 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.”

The 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.




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Older Comments about Don't Tell Sophia Ready to Defend Bayakoa Title...

Congrats, SSilence.
Nice call, SS
Dang, Silence, I'm going to dinner on you.
Hey I had the tri ^^ :D
1 5 8 dominant
I like Don't tell Sophia / Dixie Strike / Sister Ginger (n/o)
The favorite would have to almost lay down to miss here contenders: 1 Don't Tell Sophia 4 Sisterly Love 5 Dixie Strike 2 Imposing Grace 6 Our Domain
Thanks, Mary. I'm looking at 4, too, but 9, for sure, and low weight.
4,9,8, and somewhat the 5 have chances. Of course 1 is the deserving favorite. I'll take the 9.
Despite DTS's command of Oaklawn, I'd like to beat her. She's carrying high weight (no surprise there), but as you say, jinlie, she'll probably go off lower than even money. Anyone have any gut calls to beat her?
Don't Tell Sophia looks really good in here...any thoughts on Sisterly Love at a mild upset? Or are the others just shooting for second? I see DTS going off at even money or lower.

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