First U.S. Graded Stakes Win for Sopran Basilea (IRE)

(Photo by Allison Janezic/The Racing Biz)

She’s an Irish-bred mare with an Italian name. We’re pretty certain SOPRAN BASILEA (IRE) does NOT translate to “little rocket,” but after today’s win in Delaware Park’s Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes-G3, it should!

That’s a race which, since its inaugural running in 1997, has often seemed to have Graham’s name on it. Today’s renewal marked his 9th victory, maintaining his record for most wins by a trainer.

Sopran Basilea (IRE) joined us in Fair Hill in early February after selling at the Arqana December 2022 Breeding Stock Sale. She was already the winner of five races in Italy, including the Premio Lydia Tesio Italian Champions-G2 and the Premio Verziere Mem Aldo Cirla-G3. She made her first start for the barn on Preakness Day in Pimlico’s Gallorette Stakes Presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar-G3, finishing 2 1/2 lengths behind winner Whitebeam (GB).

With Jorge Ruiz aboard for the first time today, the 5-year-old mare raced at the back of the pack of seven until the stretch. The pair “then got through on the inside” and “closed well to get up in time, driving” to win by a neck. Met by the outrider back on the main track, Jorge was free to reward Sopran Basilea (IRE) all the way back to the winner’s circle. Once there, he had hugs for our Delaware assistant Anne Sinchak and groom Mickey Hall. Typical post-race celebration from Jorge!

Sopran Basilea (IRE) was bred by Aidan Sexton and now runs for Madaket Stables, Bill Strauss and Leonardo Ciampoli. She is by Night of Thunder (IRE) out of Kathy’s Best (IRE) by King’s Best (IRE). Today’s win, the sixth of her career, brought her earnings to $512,145. Big congratulations to all of her connections!





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