Cathryn Sophia Faces Stiff Class Test in $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes
Category : News
Thu 28/01/2016 - 16:10 EST
On Saturday at Gulfstream Park, the stakes action will kick off with the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes. Restricted to three-year-old fillies, the Grade 2 event will be run at seven furlongs on the main track and has drawn a field of seven.
Cathryn Sophia has been installed as the morning line favorite at odds of 6-5 for trainer Jason Servis. A bay daughter of Street Boss, she was purchased for $30,000 as a yearling and is undefeated from two career starts. After breaking her maiden in her debut at Parx Racing, she followed that up with a victory in the Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel Park. She will step up to graded stakes company for the first time and will have Joel Rosario aboard from post position two.
Island Saint stepping back up to stakes company
Second choice at morning line odds of 3-1 is Island Saint for trainer Todd Pletcher. A chestnut daughter of Speightstown bred and owned by Siena Farms, she has been on the board in three of her four starts and will be trying to earn her third victory. She is moving back up the ranks to graded stakes competition after winning an optional claiming race at Gulfstream last time out. John Velazquez will be aboard from post position four.
Surface switch for talented Conquest Babayaga
Also in the field at morning line odds of 7-2 is Conquest Babayaga for trainer Mark Casse. Purchased for $425,000 as a two-year-old by Conquest Stables, the dark bay daughter of Uncle Mo will be trying to earn her first graded stakes victory and will be trying conventional dirt for the first time after two starts at Woodbine, including a maiden win. Mike Smith will be in the irons and they will break from post position three.
There will always be Kentucky Derby entrants that would be much better suited to skip the race entirely and find a better spot if not for the gusto of their well-meaning owners, but the Road to the Derby point qualifying system has been remarkably efficient at making the race more of a level-playing field since its inception four years ago.
On Saturday at Keeneland, the featured race is the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes. Scheduled to be run at one mile on the turf, the Grade 2 event has drawn a field of eight colts and geldings.
With a largely underwhelming, and thus far, slow, group of three year-olds set to contest the 2016 Kentucky Derby, logical handicappers searching for a pick outside of the undefeated and likely highly-favored Nyquist may have already begun the hand-wringing process.
On Friday at Oaklawn Park, the featured race is the $600,000 Apple Blossom Stakes. Restricted to fillies and mares, the Grade 1 event will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track and has drawn a field of six.