09/06/2014 4:08PM

Don't Tell Sophia goes from last to first in Locust Grove Stakes


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Don’t Tell Sophia swooped from last to first to post a 2 1/4-length victory Saturday in the $108,200 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs, perhaps setting up a big fall for a mare who cost just $1,000 as a yearling.

With jockey Joe Rocco Jr. biding his time, Don’t Tell Sophia had just one rival beat at the quarter-pole before surging past them with an outside run. Molly Morgan was up in the last jump to get second over Frivolous, while Ria Antonia was a no-threat fourth and the favored On Fire Baby virtually was eased in what was most likely her final career start.

Don’t Tell Sophia, a 6-year-old mare by Congaree, paid $6.20 as second choice after finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.93 over a fast track. Co-owned by trainer Phil Sims with Jerry Namy, she probably will run Oct. 5 in the Grade 1 Spinster at Sims’ longtime home track, Keeneland.

“She shows up,” Sims said with a grin. “I don’t know what we’ll do next, but this sure was nice.”

Sims did not discount trying the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Oct. 31 in case of a big run in the Spinster.

Baby Fresh set a slow early pace in the Locust Grove before being overtaken down the backstretch by On Fire Baby, the 19-10 favorite among six fillies and mares. By the far turn, however, On Fire Baby was through, and Frivolous momentarily drew clear. But then came the looping run by Don’t Tell Sophia, and it was all over.

Don’t Tell Sophia now has won 10 of 21 starts, with the $66,413 winner’s share lifting her career bankroll to $679,295. She was returning from off a layoff of almost six months after being hindered by minor ailments.

Meanwhile, owner-breeder Anita Cauley said the breeding shed is most likely the next stop for On Fire Baby, the 5-year-old gray mare who won two Grade 1 races and nearly $1.1 million from 17 career starts.

“She’s had a good run, but I think it’s time,” she said.

The $2 exacta (6-7) paid $22.20, the $1 trifecta (6-7-4) returned $44.20, and the 10-cent superfecta (6-7-4-5) was worth $11.40.