Servis: Cathryn Sophia “deserves a shot”

by | May 5, 2016 | Breaking, Breeding, Maryland, MD Breeding, Racing, Regionwide, Top Stories, Triple Crown Trail

Cathryn Sophia. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Interview by Gary Quill

For the first time in her brief career, Cathryn Sophia won’t be favored when she goes postward in Friday’s Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks.

The Maryland-bred has questions to answer in the 1 1/8 mile Oaks after she bid up to the lead in the 1 1/16 Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland before hanging to finish third.  Trainer John Servis is eager to learn the answers.

“You know, the nine furlongs is going to be a little bit of a question,” he told Gary Quill (video below).  “[But] she certainly deserves a shot.  I’m real happy with how she’s coming into the race.”

Cathryn Sophia began her career with four straight wins, all by at least five lengths.  That streak included her debut win by a dozen lengths at Parx Racing and an eye-popping 16-length triumph in the Gin Talking Stakes, at Laurel Park.  She then headed south to score easily in a pair of Grade 2 events at Gulfstream Park before failing, at 1-2 odds, in the Ashland.

She is 9-2 on the morning line for the Oaks, co-second choice with Ashland winner Weep No More.  Ashland runner-up Rachel’s Valentina is the tepid 7-2 morning line favorite.

Javier Castellano will have the mount on Cathryn Sophia for the third straight race.  Breaking from the 12-hole, he and Cathryn Sophia will need to work out a favorable trip in the full field of 14.  But Servis said he’s not concerned.

“I’m going to leave that to Javier.  He’s the top rider in the country,” Servis said.  “She’s got enough early speed to put herself in the race and to get a nice stalking position.”

He said he would have only one piece of advice, reflecting, perhaps, that Cathryn Sophia flattened out in the late stages of the Ashland.

“The only thing I’ll say to him is sit as long as you can,” Servis said.  “Don’t move until you have to.”

Cathryn Sophia is a daughter of Street Boss and was bred in Maryland by Robert Manfuso.  She was purchased by Chuck Zacney’s Cash Is King LLC for $30,000 at the Fasig-Tipton 2014 Eastern September Yearlings sale.

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