Likely Central Bank Ashland Favorite Cathryn Sophia Works
Cash is King LLC’s undefeated Cathryn Sophia worked a half-mile in :48.20 over a fast track after the Sunday morning renovation break in preparation for Saturday’s 79th running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Working on her own with exercise rider Jerry Ortega up, Cathryn Sophia slowly worked her way to the half-mile pole and produced a first quarter-mile of :25.60, according to Keeneland clockers, got the half in :48.20 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 and six furlongs in 1:14.60.
“I am tickled to death with it, tickled to death,” trainer John Servis said. “If you can’t be happy with that, you are not a happy guy.”
A Maryland-bred daughter of Street Boss, Cathryn Sophia debuted in late October at Parx with a
12 ¾-length romp going six furlongs and followed that with a 16¼-length win in the Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel going seven furlongs.
“I expected her to win (in her debut) because she had worked well a couple of times, but I didn’t expect her to win by 12,” Servis said. “Same as with the second start; she had trained well for that and I thought she would win.”
In her third victory, a 5½-length score in the Forward Gal (G2) at seven furlongs in January, Servis began thinking he had a special filly.
“That was the race that was I convinced she was pretty talented,” Servis said. “She got off bad and had to sit in behind horses and other than getting a little lax with her leads, she did everything right.”
Cathryn Sophia won her most recent start, the one-mile Davona Dale on Feb. 27, by seven lengths under Javier Castellano, who will retain the mount Saturday.
Servis opted to pass on Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in favor of the Central Bank Ashland.
“Obviously the Grade 1 made a difference and if she is fortunate enough to win it would be nice to have on her resume,” Servis said. “And I like the five weeks between races and then wheeling back in four weeks for the Kentucky Oaks (G1).”
Sunday’s work was the third for Cathryn Sophia since winning the Davona Dale.
“She worked last Saturday at Palm Meadows,” Servis said. “It was an easy three-quarters just to make sure she still had a good bottom on her.”
The Central Bank Ashland offers 170 points toward the Kentucky Oaks with 100 going to winner, a total that would ensure a spot in the starting gate for the $1 million race on May 6.
“If we are fortunate enough to do well (in the Ashland). The plan would be to stay here until a week before the Oaks,” Servis said. “I like the atmosphere here.”
Click here for a Periscope video of the post-work interview with Servis.