08/06/2016 3:06PM

Daring Kathy gets break at gate, wins Soaring Softly

Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Daring Kathy, with Tyler Gaffalione up, wins the Soaring Softly Stakes on Saturday.

Daring Kathy already was so well regarded going into the $75,000 Soaring Softly that she was an odds-on favorite at post time. The task for the 5-year-old mare got decidedly easier when the only other speed in the one-mile turf race, First Illusion, lost jockey Roberto Alvarado Jr. right out of the starting gate.

Daring Kathy and jockey Tyler Gaffalione proceeded to lead every step of the way, winning by 5 1/4 lengths on the Florida Sire Stakes undercard Saturday at Gulfstream Park in south Florida.

Trained by David Fawkes for owner-breeders John Eaton and Steve Laymon, Daring Kathy returned $3.80 after finishing in 1:35.08 over firm going. Pancake was second and E B Ryder was third in a field of seven fillies and mares.

“As soon as they broke, the filly’s ears went up, and she was so comfortable the whole way around there,” Fawkes said. “She listened to him. She rated for him.”

“When I asked her for run at the top of the lane, it was all over,” Gaffalione said.

Daring Kathy, who was stretching out from back-to-back five-furlong turf races, now has won 8 of 17 career starts. It was her first victory in a little more than 13 months. Fawkes said he is inclined to turn her back to 5 1/2 furlongs for her likely next start, the $100,000 Smart N Fancy on Aug. 28 at Saratoga.

Alvarado, a winner of more than 2,600 races, was not injured. First Illusion ran off to lead the pack throughout when not posing a danger to the others.

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