08/22/2004 11:00PM

Aunt Sophie rallies to take Emerald Breeders' Cup Distaff


AUBURN, Wash. - Aunt Sophie circled the field turning for home and drew out to score a two-length victory over Cascade Corona in Sunday's one mile, $100,000 Emerald Breeders' Cup Distaff at Emerald Downs. Hippogator, the narrow favorite at 9-5, held on for third in the field of eight after contesting the early pace.

Ridden by Roberto Gonzalez, Aunt Sophie got the distance in 1:36.20 on a sloppy track and paid $7.40 to win. She registered her fifth stakes win and her ninth victory from 33 career starts, and the $41,250 winner's prize boosted her career earnings to $272,155.

Aunt Sophie, a homebred 6-year-old by Altazarr out of Sister Eunice, races for her trainer, Dr. Charles Barth.

"She has been a marvelously consistent mare throughout her career," noted Dr. Barth. "She has raced in stakes in her last eight starts, and she hasn't been worse than third."

Dr. Barth said Aunt Sophie will remain at Emerald to contest the $50,000 Belle Roberts Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Washington Cup Day, Sept. 19.