Grade I winner and Eclipse Award finalist Don’t Tell Sophia has been retired and is in foal to Darley stallion Medaglia d’Oro, trainer and co-owner Phil Sims said Tuesday.
Don’t Tell Sophia had not raced since her runner-up finish in the Grade II Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs last Nov. 27 and had not shown up on the worktab in 2015. Sims had the 7-year-old daughter of Congaree galloping on a regular basis throughout the Keeneland Spring Meet but said some lingering problems kept appearing in the bay mare, prompting the decision to go ahead and breed her.
“She’s doing well but she had had some setbacks,” said Sims, who owned Don’t Tell Sophia in partnership with Jerry Namy.
Sims added that Don’t Tell Sophia, who is at KatieRich Farms in Midway, would probably be entered at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale.
“It’s going to be tough to sell her but you have to kind of stay in business,” Sims said.
The journey of Don’t Tell Sophia had been every bit the fairytale for her connections. Her pretty but large frame that would need time to grow into scared buyers off at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and Sims was able to purchase her for the sale-minimum $1,000 bid.
Plagued by foot problems throughout her career, Don’t Tell Sophia was on the turf for her first couple tries against graded stakes company. Her slow-burn closing kick was most effective on dirt, however, and after earning her first career graded stakes victory in the 2013 Grade II Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs she returned to deliver her best season yet during her 6-year-old campaign in 2014.
Don’t Tell Sophia won three of her first four starts of 2014, setting her up for a showdown with eventual divisional champion Close Hatches in the Grade I Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland last October. With regular rider Joe Rocco Jr. in the irons, Don’t Tell Sophia delivered a career-defining outing when she rallied from last in the six horse field to score a 2 1/2-length victory and become just the second Grade I winner Sims had ever conditioned.
The big bay mare further stamped herself as one of the top older females in the country when she ran second to champion 3-year-old filly Untapable in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park last October 31. In her final 15 career starts, she was never worse than third and retires with 11 wins from 24 starts and $1,382,479 in earnings.