Rides in Both Juvenile Stakes Races on Saturday
Jockey Sophie Doyle switched from riding in Kentucky in the summer to Arlington Park, and the move has paid off. Doyle has won 41 races at Arlington, putting her third in the jockey standings, including a three-win day last Sunday.
Doyle returns to Kentucky on Saturday to ride in the pair of $400,000 juvenile stakes at Kentucky Downs: the Kentucky Downs Juvenile with the Chris Davis-trained Best You Ever Seen and the Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies with the Mike Stidham-trained My Jilly. Both babies are coming in off good-looking wins in mile maiden turf races at Arlington.
My Jilly, owned by Barry Golden, was third going 4 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack, then closed well going a mile on turf to win on July 26 by a neck. My Jilly was going to run back in a six-furlong race on Polytrack, but the race didn’t attract enough entries and she instead went in the turf race at the same distance as Saturday’s stakes.
She’s had two good five-furlong workouts since.
“I like her a lot,” Doyle said. “She’s straightforward, she travels nicely and she’s got good cruising speed that will help around there a lot. I feel I have a good connection with her, and she’s been doing everything right so far.”
Best You Ever Seen made his first two starts for trainer James Chapman, after which owner Town and Country Racing bought out Chapman’s share and sent the colt to Davis. A close second in his first start for the new connections, the son of Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy came back to win an Aug. 4 maiden race by 3 1/2 lengths.
“He won really, really nicely,” Doyle said. “I could have won further if I wanted to. But he was in control at the end, so I said, ‘Well, I don’t need to exert him too much and take anything out of him.’ I think he’ll really enjoy the track there, and distance will not be a problem for him.”
Of the move to Chicago, Doyle said, “It’s nice to be winning consistently. Back home in Kentucky, you’re driving around here and everywhere. You win one or two for the week, then you might miss a week. The jockey colony is just so strong in Kentucky.”
Davis, who grew up in Chicago in a racing family, also made the summer move to Kentucky after being at Ellis Park last year. He’s won 10 of 45 starts at Arlington.
“It’s been a great move to go back,” he said. “It should be fun. Hopefully we’ll get a win at Kentucky Downs and finish off the summer really well. I looked at the race, and I think we fit really well. We definitely should be the fittest horse. This will be his fifth start, and he’s already had two races at a mile over the grass. He should have won the first time we ran him a mile. But he fell on his head (out of the gate), and we were lucky Sophie stayed on. I’ve got a picture of Sophie with the horse on its knees leaving the gate, and went from last to second.”