Given that Cathryn Sophia was being kept to her business as Land Over Sea finished 2-3/4 lengths back in second, the results of the race also suggest that Servis' original decision would have been correct if Songbird had stayed in: the champion had been handling the consistent Land Over Sea with the utmost of ease on the West Coast. Nonetheless, Cathryn Sophia now has a solid claim to being the second best of the sophomore fillies. She also has a lot more options ahead of her; not only did she handle the 9-furlong trip with aplomb, but she did so after being fanned four-wide around the final turn, demonstrating that she is the granddaughter of the staying Mineshaft just as much as she is the daughter of the sprinter Street Boss.
The biggest disappointment of the race was Rachel's Valentina, who was favored to emulate the Oaks heroics of her dam Rachel Alexandra. She was part of the cavalry charge on the front end coming around the turn into the homestretch, but she retreated steadily from her favorable position thereafter and wound up sixth. The difference, perhaps, may have been seasoning. For Rachel's Valentina, her tough defeat in the Ashland was her first start of the season, while for Cathryn Sophia, it was her fifth, and that may have been the difference between one filly being knocked out by the effort and the other being sharpened. It's also worth noting that Servis took Cathryn Sophia through an old-fashioned sequence of starting in sprints and stretching out the distance step by step.
For Cash Is King Stable, Cathryn Sophia's victory is sweet vindication of a decision to pick up a smallish but athletic filly for US$30,000 from the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Mid-Atlantic sale. It's also a well-deserved return to the top of racing for some of racing's nicest guys. It's been a while coming---it's been 12 years since John Servis trained the popular Smarty Jones to two Classic wins, and 11 years since the Cash Is King partners found a place in racing's heart with a gutty champion named Afleet Alex and a campaign on behalf of a little girl's dream to find a cure for cancer. They may not have another champion on their hands: Songbird will probably still be waiting down the road. But for now, the scent of lilies has to be sweet indeed.