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Breeders' Cup 2017

Klesaris has High Hopes for Sophia

Trainer Steve Klesaris thinks both of his runners in Sunday’s $100,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park have the ability to find the winner’s circle.


But Klesaris also hopes to celebrate a victory four races earlier with his undefeated filly Sophia.


A perfect three-for-three in her young career, Sophia exits a second-level allowance win at Monmouth Park on May 31. That race marked the 4-year-old Lion Heart filly’s first start in just under a year.


“She sports a pretty solid record,” Klesaris said. “Her comeback race was a great effort. She’s trained very well since then, but this race is a little tougher.”


Sophia has shown great versatility in her three-race career, having won at three different tracks and with two different running styles.


“She’s won on the lead and from a little off the pace. I really like that she’s shown those couple different dimensions,” Klesaris said. “She can change her game depending on the race dynamics. Her having that versatility helps a lot.”


But with a win on Sunday, would Sophia take her game into the stakes ranks?


“She’s done everything right so far,” Klesaris said. “But this race will answer those questions.”


About two hours after Sophia takes the track, Klesaris will send out the uncoupled pair of Casanova Killer and Earle’s First Girl in the Blue Sparkler Stakes.


Casanova Killer comes off a game allowance win at Monmouth Park at odds of 26-1 on June 4.


“I thought that was a very good effort,” Klesaris said. “There was a horse loose on the lead that day and she was still able to get it done.”


Earle’s First Girl will be making her first trip to Monmouth Park as she exits a 5 ¾-length win at Philly Park last out. The 5-year-old daughter of El Corredor sports an impressive 5-5-2 career record from 14 starts at the Blue Sparkler distance of six furlongs.


“She’s been very competitive in the allowance ranks,” Klesaris said. “We figured now would be a good time to try the next level.”


 

 

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