When the two faced off in the GI Kentucky Oaks, it was Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) who got the better trip than Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) and subsequently her signature win of a brilliant season so far. A barn change and a devastatingly easy win later, the third finisher under the Twin Spires will get another chance at her speedy rival past the iconic grandstand of Saratoga in Sunday’s Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks.
An eye-catching victress of the GI Santa Anita Oaks in April, Midnight Bisou got caught behind a moderate pace and had to go wide on the turn in Louisville and flattened in deep stretch after briefly threatening.
Monomoy Girl, meanwhile, got over from the 14-hole and tracked the speed from the two path before digging in gamely to hold off subsequent Queen’s Plate winner Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro) on the wire.
“She maintains her weight, her look, her coat, she’s so consistent with her works each week,” trainer Brad Cox said of his star pupil. “She lets you know she’s ready. She’s on her game and hopefully she brings her ‘A’ game. That should be good enough.”
The chestnut filly solidified her championship prospects with a convincing score in the GI Acorn S. June 9 at Belmont.
Not to be outdone, Midnight Bisou, transferred from the Bill Spawr barn to Steve Asmussen, cantered home a dominant victress of the GII Mother Goose S. at Big Sandy three weeks later.
If there is to be an upsetter, it’s likely to be Eskimo Kisses (To Honor and Serve). Second in both the GI Ashland S. and GII Fair Grounds Oaks earlier this spring, the Ken McPeek trainee ran on strongly from well back and navigated traffic issues on the far turn in the Kentucky Oaks to be fourth, beaten just a half-length by Midnight Bisou.