My Miss Sophia impressed in the Gazelle Stakes. (Photo by David Alcosser/NYRA)
On April 4, My Miss Sophia confirmed her class in the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct, which she won by a dominant 7 ¼ lengths as the 4-to-5 favorite. The chestnut Unbridled’s Song filly had only two prior starts in her career with the most recent being an 11-length victory in a maiden race at Gulfstream Park.
On the surface, this filly’s potential is quite remarkable. She has won her past two starts by 11 lengths and 7 ¼ lengths, respectively. In her first victory, her competition was considerably weaker than the horses she will face in the Kentucky Oaks. Her second win came in a solid Grade 2 field, although she carried seven pounds less than the second betting choice, Sweet Reason. While My Miss Sophia has shown strong potential, she remains rather untested compared with other Kentucky Oaks contenders.
My Miss Sophia’s pedigree suggests she would belong to the group of Unbridled’s Song progeny that enjoys success at shorter distances. Her broodmare sire, Langfuhr, has the compact, muscular build of most sprinters. While his offspring have proven themselves as quality sprinters some of Langfuhr’s elite runners have excelled in longer races, such as 2007 champion older male Lawyer Ron, Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando, Arlington Million Stakes winner Jambalaya and 1 1/8-mile Beldame Stakes winner Imperial Gesture.
So far, My Miss Sophia has shown no signs of stopping up to 1 1/8 miles. She has finished both of her victories with unspent fuel and probably should handle longer distances this summer.
MY MISS SOPHIA AFTER HER GAZELLE TRIUMPH
Owned by Mathis Stable, My Miss Sophia never raced as a juvenile. She made her career debut in February at Gulfstream Park. In the field of seven 3-year-old fillies, she went off as the second choice and finished as the runner-up to longshot Little Alexis, who won by 1 ¾ lengths. John Velazquez rode the Todd Pletcher-trained My Miss Sophia in her 5 ½-furlong debut.
Her second start came exactly a month later in an 11-horse race, again on Gulfstream’s dirt main track. This time, the promising filly would go to the post as the favorite with Javier Castellano aboard. Although she broke from the starting gate slowly, My Miss Sophia hurried up to race in second through a half-mile in :45.71. Halfway around the turn in the 1-mile contest, she took over the lead and drew off to an 11-length romp. My Miss Sophia passed the finish line with a solid time of 1:35.46.
My Miss Sophia shipped up the East Coast to New York for the Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct, where she would face tougher competition from Got Lucky and Sweet Reason. In the 1 1/8-mile race, she became the favorite by post time and set a measured pace with fractions of :24.31 for the opening quarter-mile and :48.23 for the half-mile. At the top of the stretch, Castellano urged My Miss Sophia to increase her lead and she responded willingly for the 7 ¼-length victory. She completed the race in 1:50.48.