Has John Servis found the filly version of Smarty Jones, the champion and dual classic-winning colt he trained more than a decade ago? It’s early yet, but the juvenile Cathryn Sophia has gotten her career off to a similarly rip-roaring fashion.
On Saturday, the daughter of Street Boss strolled home a 16 1/4-length winner of her stakes debut, the $100,000 Gin Talking at Laurel. Setting a pace of :23.02 and :46.63 under Robert Rosado, Cathryn Sophia finished up seven furlongs over a fast track in a sharp 1:23.17.
Cathryn Sophia was the 1-10 favorite in the Gin Talking following a 12 3/4-length maiden score at Parx on October 30, a performance that earned a 99 BRIS Speed rating. The Maryland-bred is owned by Cash is King LLC, who notably campaigned Afleet Alex, the champion three-year-old colt in 2005, the year after Smarty Jones.
“She does everything so easy and she’s very well behaved and acts like a race horse,” Servis said. “She was a little bit of a challenge getting there, but once we got over the hump and she started training on a regular basis she showed some talent. But I had no idea she was going to be this good.”
Smarty Jones made his first two career starts in November 2003. A 7 3/4-length maiden winner at Parx (then Philadelphia Park), he returned 13 days later to take the $56,000 Pennsylvania Nursery by 15 lengths going seven-eighths. His first two BRIS Speed ratings were 98 and 112.
At this writing we don’t yet know the Speed rating Cathryn Sophia earned for the Gin Talking, but it will be higher than what the juvenile colt Vorticity will get for winning the $100,000 Marylander at Laurel on Saturday. The son of Distorted Humor repelled a late bit from 1-2 favorite Never Gone South to win by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:24.63. He paid $6.
Owned by Matthew Schera, trained by Jim Lawrence, and ridden by Victor Carrasco, Vorticity finished third behind subsequent $100,000 James F. Lewis III winner Awesome Speed in his debut at Laurel October 10, and then shipped up to Aqueduct to break his maiden by 2 3/4 lengths on November 8.
This was the second consecutive stakes placing for Never Gone South, who convincingly won his Parx debut and the $51,000 Strike Your Colors at Delaware Park before finishing second to Awesome Speed in the James Lewis.
(Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)