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BENSALEM, PA – Jockey Sophie Doyle made history on Saturday, becoming just the third female jockey to win the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1) at Parx when she piloted Street Band to the 7/1 upset over 10 tough 3-year-old fillies.
The Cotillion is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Street Band receiving an automatic berth in the Longines Distaff at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 3 as the fifth choice on the tote, Street Band soon relaxed and took back while saving ground before making the clubhouse turn. Up front, the Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Serengeti Empress tried to set the early pace from the rail, but last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champion Jaywalk soon stole it away.
Jaywalk posted swift opening fractions of :22.60 and :46.20, but heading into the far turn, Bellafina made a bid along her outside. Meanwhile, Doyle had begun weaving Street Band steadily between and past several foes down the backstretch so that she was up to sixth as she began to corner.
Street Band’s momentum carried her four-wide past a group of foes, including a weakening Jaywalk, and placed her in perfect striking position. At the top of the stretch, the even-money favorite Guarana now held command after taking it from Bellafina, but Street Band was still motoring forward with every step.
Collaring the bettors’ choice with a furlong to go, Street Band only needed mild encouragement to surge ahead for victory. The Larry Jones trainee hit the wire much the best in a final time of 1:44:20 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“Street Band did an amazing job,” said Doyle, whose first Grade 1 victory placed her with Rosie Napravnik (2014) and Andrea Seefeldt (1992) as the only female riders to win the Cotillion in its 50-year history. “Thank you to all of the racing fans that we have behind the scenes, and to the team of Larry Jones. And of course, to her groom, Sara, who loves this filly. I can’t wait to give her (the winning rose bouquet) when we get home. We won the Grade 1 Cotillion!”
Despite being caught in the stretch, Guarana remained several lengths ahead of Horologist in third. Bellafina’s failed bid for the lead resulted in a fading fourth-place finish ahead of Sweet Sami D, while behind her came the tiring pair of Serengeti Empress and Jaywalk. Afleet Destiny, Jeltrin, She Makes Me Smile, and Collegeville Girl completed the order of finish.
Street Band’s win was her third at the graded level, having previously won the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and the Indiana Oaks (G3). The daughter of Istan improved her record to 12-5-0-3 with $1,106,425 earned for co-owners Larry Jones, Cindy Jones, Ray Francis (who all co-bred her), Medallion Racing, and MyRacehorse.com.
“This is the stuff we dreamed about when we started the company,” said MyRacehorse.com’s Racing Operations Manager Joe Mishak, who grew up with Parx as his home track. “It’s very surreal. I thought this filly could be something special and get better with age when we bought into her. We’ll be on a high for the next five weeks and then we get into the Breeders’ Cup.”
Street Band returned $17.40 to win, $5.40 to place, and $4.40 to show. Guarana brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Horologist paid $5 to show.
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