05/29/2006 11:00PM

Sol Mi Fa wins U.S. debut


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Irish-bred Sol Mi Fa ($12) edged stablemate Soothsay to win her U.S. debut and give trainer James Cassidy a one-two finish in Monday's $81,250 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Oaks.

Sol Mi Fa sat off Hill of Grace's tepid pace before making a four-wide move at the quarter pole to open a lead in the lane. She was challenged by Soothsay, who squeezed through a narrow opening along the rail, but had enough to win the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes by three-quarters of a length in 1:44.30.

"I was trying to make one run like they told me," said winning jockey David Lopez, who won his third race of the day. "She wanted to go from the three-quarters pole. You can feel it when a horse has a lot down the backstretch. I just sat behind them and tried to wait as long as I could."

Soothsay got a rail trip all the way and had room to make a bid into the lane when Hill of Grace left an opening along the rail. Just as jockey Luis Martinez moved to the opening, Hill of Grace lugged in a bit causing Soothsay to hesitate for an instant before making a strong move.

"It was a little tight in the stretch," Martinez said. "I was trying to get outside, but another horse was there. I'm happy with the way she ran."

Morning-line favorite Bai and Bai was scratched because of a bruised foot. Hystericalady and Royal Cheer scratched to run in other upcoming stakes races.

Sol Mi Fa earned $41,250, nearly doubling her lifetime earnings to $85,415 with her third career victory in eight starts. The victory was her second straight following an April 5 win in France.