HALLANDALE BEACH, FL -- Graded-stakes winner Daring Kathy will stretch back out in distance when she headlines an eight-horse field in the $75,000 Soaring Softly Stakes on the undercard of Saturday’s Florida Sire Stakes program at Gulfstream Park.
John Eaton and Steve Laymon’s Florida-bred is an accomplished miler with five career stakes victories to her credit, including the $100,000 My Charmer Stakes (G3) as a sophomore. After a disappointing series of performances, however, trainer David Fawkes opted to shorten Daring Kathy up in a pair of sprints against males and the 5-year-old mare acquitted herself well. She was runner-up to Successful Native in the five-furlong Bonita Stakes on June 4 at Gulfstream Park, and most recently ran second by a neck to Doctor J Dub in the $75,000 Bob Humphrey Turf Sprint on the Summit of Speed undercard July 2.
Fawkes admitted that he felt Daring Kathy had dead aim on the winner in her last outing.
“I don’t know if the rider (Cornelio Velasquez) was overconfident or what, because the filly ran right up to the other horse like she was going to run right by, and then she never got by that horse,” Fawkes explained. “I’ll be honest, I never count my chickens before they’re hatched, but I thought at the eighth-pole that she was going to go right by. She ran second, but she still ran a great race.
“The horse that she beat that day (Successful Native, third) went to Saratoga and was second up there in a sprint for Aubrey Maragh,” Fawkes added. “We had been contemplating this race here or the sprint for girls at Saratoga, but fortunately we stayed here because it rained and the race came off the turf at Saratoga. So we’re here to run Saturday in the mile.”
Fawkes believes that the daughter of Wildcat Heir may be a bit sharper for her return to in the eight-furlong Soaring Softly.
“I’m a little excited to see her going back to a mile,” he said. “Those sprint races might have put a little bit of speed back into her. I expect her to lay closer, which was her old running style. We’ll see how she breaks -- maybe she can clear them by a length or two and then relax. Hopefully, that will be the case.”
Drawn in Post 5, Daring Kathy will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione in the Soaring Softly.
Trainer Marty Wolfson has entered a pair of solid competitors owned by Miller Racing in the Soaring Softly, including defending champion Lori’s Store. The 6-year-old daughter of El Prado edged stablemate E B Ryder in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf on Jan. 16, but was benched after that victory. She returned to finish fourth, with E B Ryder third, in the Spook Express Stakes July 2 at Gulfstream.
Lori’s Store will have the services of jockey Emisael Jaramillo when she breaks from Post 3.
Following the Spook Express, E B Ryder took a break from stakes competition to tackle allowance foes two weeks later. The 6-year-old mare was forced to settle for third after getting caught six wide, and Wolfson is hoping for better racing luck in the Soaring Softly. Jockey Cornelio Velasquez has the call aboard E B Ryder, who is drawn alongside her Wolfson stablemate in the Post 3.
The Soaring Softly octet is rounded out by Cali Cat, Pancake, First Illusion, Frosty Friday and Summers Back.
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