There’s been nothing to suggest that Songbird was anything less than the strongest three-year old filly racing today, but there was some worthy curiosity about whether or not her rivals were ready to give her a significant challenges at the 2016 Cotillion. Songbird easily put any worries to rest in what shaped up to be a casual, fun and dominant performance from trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s exceptional champion.
Carina Mia was first out of the gate and was instantly trailed by Songbird with Disco Rose and Cathryn Sophia right behind. It was an interesting choice by Hollendorfer to see how the 2016 Cotillion unfolded from the start, but the strategy was sharply tuned. “When I talked with Mike about the race, we just wanted to jump and see where we were,” Hollendorfer revealed. “I didn’t know what Cathryn Sophia was going to do. I thought she was capable of showing some speed. Songbird laid off the pace a little and ran when Mike asked her to. I’m very grateful for her and very pleased with the way that she did that today. I thought she was going great down the backside.”
Songbird wasn’t just great down the homestretch, she was damn near invincible. Cathryn Sophia was the second choice at 5/2 but couldn’t find another gear to catch her. Carina Mia, who had lost to Songbird at the Coaching Club American Oaks already, couldn’t remotely hold on to the lead in the final stages as the 6/1 third choice. It was business as usual for the 2016 Cotillion winner, who notched her 11th consecutive victory in as many starts.
Songbird delivered $2.60, $2.10, and $2.10. Carina Mia was worth $3.60 and $2.10. Cathryn Sophia paid $2.10.
The next and final stop on the 2016 schedule is the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. “I don’t think we need a race in between, and we didn’t plan one, so right now I would say we could train up to the Breeders’ Cup,” Hollendorfer continued after the 2016 Cotillion. “You come to a point in the road where you have to meet the big ones, and there’s a couple of big ones out there at Santa Anita, Beholder and Stellar Wind, those horses can really run. Our horse can really run, so we’d like to try those, and I think that’s good competition, if we all get there to the race at Santa Anita. You have to get there first. We’ll be looking forward to it if we can get there, and I think that we will.”