09/07/2016 11:50AM

Servis eager to watch Cathryn Sophia challenge Songbird

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Taylor Ejdys/Equi-Photo
Cathryn Sophia looks primed for the $1 million Cotillion on Sept. 24.

Cathryn Sophia came out of her easy 6 1/2-length win in the $150,000 Princess of Sylmar last Saturday at Parx Racing in fine shape, according to trainer John Servis, and is ready for her meeting with undefeated champion Songbird in the Grade 1 Cotillion on Sept. 24.

“It worked out perfect,” Servis said. “She came out of the race great, she got a good number. I’m excited about the prospect of racing against Songbird. It’s been a long time coming.”

Cathryn Sophia was given a 95 Beyer Speed Figure for her effort in the Princess of Sylmar and certainly could have gone faster if jockey Paco Lopez had encouraged her at any point during the stretch run.

Cathryn Sophia ran seven times in seven months between last Oct. 30 and her third-place finish in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 11. She was freshened over the summer and worked four times at Saratoga and once at Parx prior to the one-mile Princess of Sylmar. She will have three weeks between that race and the $1 million Cotillion, which will be run at 1 1/16 miles.

On Monday, Servis was noncommittal about when or if he would work Cathryn Sophia prior to the Cotillion.

“I’m really not sure,” Servis said. “I’ll let her tell me if she wants to work.”

Chuck Zacney’s Cash Is King Stable bought Cathryn Sophia for $30,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale at Timonium in 2014. She has since won 6 of 8 starts and more than $1.1 million. Her victories this year include the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Grade 2 Davona Dale, and Grade 2 Forward Gal.

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Zacney, who raced 2005 Arkansas Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex, likes to bring large groups to the races when his horses are in major stakes. He said he had 100 guests at Parx last Saturday and said he plans to bring 200 people on Cotillion Day.

Like Servis, he is looking forward to taking on Songbird.

“We were a little lucky that she didn’t run in the [Kentucky] Oaks, but now we’re ready,” Zacney said. “If there is ever a time for Songbird to be vulnerable, this is it. She comes out of two races at Saratoga and will have to travel cross-country, while we can train here a few weeks and walk over and run.”