Jan. 19, 2013
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, Jan 19, 2012) – Trainer Phil Sims is spending his first winter in Hot Springs, but it won’t take the Oaklawn fans long to get to know him, especially if all his horses continue to run as well as Don’t Tell Sophia did in winning Saturday’s $75,000 Pippin Stakes by 7 ¼ lengths.
Racing four wide throughout the race, Don’t Tell Sophia settled near the back of the field while Lady Candidate led the field through an opening half-mile in 50.17 seconds before fading. Vuition, part of the entry made the 6-5 favorite, poked her head in front to gain a short lead after six furlongs in 1:15.81, but by the time the field hit the stretch it was no secret that Don’t Tell Sophia was going to be an easy winner. The 4-year-old Congaree filly completed the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:45.62 over a fast track. Vuition held second and Mineshave came from last to finish third.
“I wouldn’t trade places with anyone in the race,” said Sims. “She’s a nice filly and had been doing really well. We’ll give her a couple days, but will probably look at the next stakes here ($100,000 Bayakoa Feb.16).”
Don’t Tell Sophia, who races in the name of her trainer and Jerry Namy, improved her record to five wins from 11 starts and has now earned $183,606. As the 9-5 second choice, the filly returned $5.80, $2.80 and $3.00.
Earlier on the Oaklawn card, a racing rarity occurred when there were back-to-back dead heats for win in the fifth and sixth races. In the fifth race, an allowance optional claiming race, former stakes winner Kate’s Main Man hit the wire with Son of the General. In the sixth, a starter allowance race, Gotta Go Gold finished on even terms with Well’s Gold.
Oaklawn racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post. The nine-race program features the rescheduled $60,000 Dixie Belle for 3-year-old fillies and the $60,000 American Beauty for older fillies and mares. Both are six furlongs. Miss Arkansas, Sloane Roberts, will be on hand to present the trophy for the American Beauty.