Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) was tabbed the 2-1 favorite for Friday’s GI Longines Kentucky Oaks after drawing the widest post in a field of 14. Following Monday morning’s post position draw at Churchill Downs, connections of the slight favorite were trying to remain stoic about their outside draw.
“It is, what it is,” trainer Brad Cox said. “We’ll come up with a game plan and run the play. Monomoy Girl is a good filly and good horses overcome things. We have to overcome the 14 hole. Obviously, we’ll have the speed to the inside of us. Hopefully, she can adjust. I think we learned as much about her in the [GII] Rachel Alexandra S. than any other race. She broke from the outside post that day. Obviously, there weren’t 14 horses, but she broke a little slow and was able to adjust to the pace. It’s not where we want to be, but she’s a good horse and hopefully she can overcome. She’s ready to run, so hopefully she can get a good trip.”
Monomoy Girl already owns a stakes win at Churchill Downs, having captured the one-mile Rags to Riches S. in by a front-running 6 1/2 lengths. She came up a neck short when second stretched to 1 1/16 miles in the Oct. 29 GII Golden Rod S., but is unbeaten in two starts at that distance this term. She won the Feb. 17 GII Rachel Alexandra S. at Fair Grounds before earning her Oaks favoritism with a dominant 5 1/2-length win in the
Apr. 7 GI Ashland S. Apr. 7 at Keeneland.
Connections of the 5-2 second choice, Allen Racing and Bloom Racing’s Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute), were more upbeat when their charge drew post 10 for Friday’s Oaks.
“I love it,” co-owner Jeff Bloom said Monday. “I really don’t think the post is all that important in this field, but all things considered, the 10 is just fine. I didn’t want us to be too far inside–like the 1–or too far outside–like the 14–so the 10 is just fine. And, besides, we’ve got Mike Smith up. He’ll know just what to do from the 10 hole.”
Midnight Bisou opened her career with a pair of nose defeats to Dream Tree (Super Saver), but hasn’t put a foot wrong since that promising filly was sidelined in March. The dark bay broke her maiden in the Jan. 7 GII Santa Ynez S. and added the Mar. 3 GIII Santa Ysabel S. She comes into Louisville off a 3 1/2-length victory in the Santa Anita Oaks.
Monomoy Girl is one of three entrants in the race for trainer Cox, who also is set to send out rail-drawn Sassy Sienna (Midshipman) at 15-1 and Kelly’s Humor (Midnight Lute) from post six at 30-1. Courtlandt Farms’s GII Gazelle S. heroine My Miss Lilly (Tapit) ships in from New York as the 10-1 third choice on the morning line for trainer Mark Hennig.
GI LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS; May 4; f, 3yo, 1 1/8m; $1,000,000
1) Sassy Sienna (Midshipman); Brad Cox; Gary Stevens; 15-1
2) Coach Rocks (Oxbow); Dale Romans; Luis Saez; 12-1
3) Classy Act (Into Mischief); Bret Calhoun; Brian Hernandez Jr.; 15-1
4) Chocolate Martini (Broken Vow); Tom Amoss; Javier Castellano; 12-1
5) Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro); Mark Casse; John Velazquez; 20-1
6) Kelly’s Humor (Midnight Lute); Brad Cox; Irad Ortiz Jr.; 30-1
7) Rayya (Tiz Wonderful); Bob Baffert; Drayden Van Dyke; 15-1
8) Heavenhasmynikki (Majestic Warrior); Anthony Quartarolo; Calvin Borel; 30-1
9) Take Charge Paula (Take Charge Indy); Kiaran McLaughlin; Jose Ortiz; 15-1
10) Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute); Bill Spawr; Mike Smith; 5-2
11) My Miss Lilly (Tapit); Mark Hennig; Joe Bravo; 10-1
12) Patrona Margarita (Special Rate); Bret Calhoun; Ricardo Santana Jr.; 30-1
13) Eskimo Kisses (To Honor and Serve); Ken McPeek; Corey Lanerie; 15-1
14) Monomoy Girl (Tapizar); Brad Cox; Florent Geroux; 2-1