In a couple of previous head-to-head battles, Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) had easily handled Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute), besting her by 4 1/4 lengths in the GI Kentucky Oaks in May ahead of a three-length success in the GI CCA Oaks in July. Monomoy Girl was heavily favored to continue her domination in Saturday’s $1-million GI Cotillion S. at Parx, but she got to wandering about in the final sixteenth of a mile and was demoted to second for carrying out Midnight Bisou, who couldn’t quite get past late.
“It was close. She wandered around when she made the lead,” said Florent Geroux, jockey of Monomoy Girl, who was tasting defeat for the first time this season. “Right call?” I don’t know. I am not the steward. It is disappointing. This was a million-dollar race, a Grade I. I thought our filly was the best today.”
But ultimately the stewards disagreed.
Drawn gate two, Monomoy Girl was beaten for speed from the gate by longshot Jump Ruler (Jump Start) and the stretching-out Separationofpowers (Into Mischief) and had to be ridden along to make up ground on the inside part of the track. Racing with her head high in the air and holding her spot at the fence as they turned up the backstretch, Monomoy Girl was clicked up by Geroux with about 3 1/2 furlongs to travel and was sent into the lead as Separationofpowers came under a ride. So, too, did a four-wide Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro), who was quickly passed by Midnight Bisou and the stage was set for a stretch battle.
Mike Smith opted to go inside of Separationofpowers at the quarter pole and looked determined to gamble towards the fence as Monomoy Girl maintained a wide track into the lane. Smith had to go for Plan B when the chalk drifted in at the eighth pole, snatching Midnight Bisou off heels and back to the outside to deliver one final challenge. Despite furious right-handed flagging from Geroux, Monomoy Girl continued to drift out several paths, and although she was home narrowly best, the judges ruled that the late herding was enough to impact the outcome.
“We were just so happy with her coming out of the Saratoga meet with five weeks’ rest, we thought she came in here really fresh and on her game,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “Tough to win like this, lose like that, we’ve all been there, but that being said she deserved to win the race. She’s an extremely gutty filly and shows up every time. We are just so proud to have her in our barn and she stepped up and has a great constitution and definitely ran her best race.”
Heads and shoulders above the competition in California when trained by Bill Spawr, Midnight Bisou won the GII Santa Ynez S., the GIII Santa Ysabel S. and the GI Santa Anita Oaks ahead of her effort on the first Friday in May. Transferred to Asmussen to take advantage of a more lucrative program for sophomore fillies on the East Coat, the bay drilled her rivals by six lengths in the GII Mother Goose S. June 30 and was third to Eskimo Kisses (To Honor and Serve) as the favorite in the GI Alabama S. Aug. 18.
A daughter of 2010 GIII Florida Oaks winner Diva Delite and a half-sister to this year’s Sapling S. third Stage Left (Congrats), Midnight Bisou is kin to a yearling colt by Warrior’s Reward and a filly foal by Wicked Strong. Diva Delite was most recently covered by Pioneerof the Nile.
Saturday, Parx Racing
COTILLION S.-GI, $1,000,000, Parx Racing, 9-22, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:45.95, ft.
1–MIDNIGHT BISOU, 124, f, 3, by Midnight Lute
1st Dam: Diva Delite (GSW, $300,067), by Repent
2nd Dam: Tour Hostess, by Tour d’Or
3rd Dam: Counsel’s Gal, by High Counsel
($19,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $80,000 2yo ’17 OBSAPR). O-Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables LLC and Allen Racing
LLC.; B-Woodford Thoroughbreds, LLC. (KY); T-Steven M.
Asmussen; J-Mike E. Smith. $562,000. Lifetime Record:
10-5-3-2, $1,385,000. Werk Nick Rating: C.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Monomoy Girl*, 124, f, 3, by Tapizar
1st Dam: Drumette, by Henny Hughes
2nd Dam: Endless Parade, by Williamstown
3rd Dam: Mnemosyne, by Saratoga Six
($100,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-M. Dubb, Monomoy Stables LLC,
The Elkstone Group LLC & Bethlehem Stables LLC; B-FPF LLC &
Highfield Ranch (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $194,000.3–Wonder Gadot, 119, f, 3, by Medaglia d’Oro
1st Dam: Loving Vindication, by Vindication
2nd Dam: Chimichurri, by Elusive Quality
3rd Dam: Hard Knocker, by Raja Baba
‘TDN Rising Star‘ ($80,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $325,000 2yo ’17
OBSAPR). O-Gary Barber; B-Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. (ON);
T-Mark E. Casse. $111,200.Margins: 10HF, NK, NK. Odds: 4.20, 0.50, 6.10.
Also Ran: Separationofpowers, Chocolate Martini, Dixie Serenade, Jump Ruler, Norma’s Charm. *Disqualified from first to second for interference. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.