Cathryn Sophia went off as a 5-1 co-second choice in the Kentucky Oaks and broke cleanly, sitting in fourth place for much of the race as jockey Javier Castellano patiently waited to make his move. When he called on her to strike from the outside, she took the lead decisively and won by an easy three lengths in front of a record Oaks crowd of 124,589.
Keen Pauline's trainer missed his flight, but the 3-year-old filly didn't miss a step in Friday's $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. After finishing second twice and third once in her first five starts, the Kentucky-bred and trained horse went wire-to-wire in winning her first stakes race.
With much of the focus leading up to Saturday's Preakness on the "big three" horses — American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund — trainers of the other contenders are quick to acknowledge their quality without laying the Black-Eyed Susan wreath on one of them before the race even begins. American Pharoah and Dortmund drew the two inside post positions for the eight-horse field Saturday. That means they'll have to start quickly not to get caught on the inside rail by the first turn.
Todd Pletcher arrived at his Pimlico paddock this morning to find his filly, Stopchargingmaria, full of energy. Coming off disappointing performances in her two races this year, Pletcher didn't know what his amped-up horse would deliver.