02/16/2013 7:06PM

Oaklawn Park: Don't Tell Sophia dusts rivals in Bayakoa

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Don't Tell Sophia, ridden by Robby Albarado, cruises to a 6 1/2-length victory in the Bayakoa.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Even though jockey Calvin Borel did not reach 5,000 career victories in his comeback Saturday at Oaklawn Park, the ontrack crowd of 21,292 was still treated to a show. Don’t Tell Sophia, ridden by Robby Albarado, drew out to a 6 1/2-length win in the $100,000 Bayakoa, her second straight blowout stakes win at the meet in a performance that stamps her as a leading local hope for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 12.

Don’t Tell Sophia stalked the pace, came through rivals and rolled home to cover the 1 1/16 miles on a track rated fast in 1:44.

“She just exploded in the stretch,” said Albarado, who was aboard for trainer Phil Sims.

She’s All In finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of the comebacking Tiz Miz Sue. Tiz Miz Sue trailed early in the field scratched down to five horses, and rallied through the stretch in her first start since October.

“The race shaped up like I thought it would,” said Joe Rocco, Jr., who rode Tiz Miz Sue. “I knew there wasn’t a lot of pace. She relaxed the way I wanted her to and felt great. She ran big. I’m excited about this year.”

Don’t Tell Sophia won her third straight race in the Bayakoa. Her streak started with a 3 1/2-length win in an $80,000 optional claimer at Churchill Downs in November. She then won the $75,000 Pippin at Oaklawn by 7 1/4 lengths Jan. 19.

“This filly’s a monster right now,” said Sims.

Sims said Don’t Tell Sophia would be pointed for the Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri at Oaklawn on March 16, and from there, he hopes to see her develop into a candidate for the Apple Blossom. Sims co-owns Don’t Tell Sophia, a 5-year-old by Congaree, with Jerry Namy.

Borel, who had been sidelined with a wrist injury for the past six weeks, entered Saturday’s card one win shy of the 5,000-win milestone. He had two mounts on the card, and finished fourth and seventh in the third and sixth races.

Borel will not be in action Sunday at Oaklawn, but is named on horses here Monday.