Oaks Favorites Midnight Bisou, Monomoy Girl Undergo Final Preparations

by | 04.28.2018 | 2:30pm
Monomoy Girl breezes at Churchill on April 28 under Florent Geroux

Trainer Bill Spawr put his finishing touches on his filly Midnight Bisou's preparations for next Friday's Kentucky Oaks when he sent the dark daughter of Midnight Lute through a six-furlong drill Saturday morning at Santa Anita Park in California.

Clockers at the Arcadia track caught the multiple stakes winner in 1:13.80 for the drill accomplished with jockey Martin Pedroza in the boot.

Though Pedroza won't ride the filly in the $1 million guaranteed Oaks – “Big Money” Mike Smith will – Spawr has used Pedroza regularly in the mornings on Midnight Bisou.

“Martin knows her well and he does right by her,” the veteran conditioner said. “I wanted her to finish strong today and she did. I had her galloping out in twenty seven (1:27) and change, which is just what I wanted. She's doing really well.”

Midnight Bisou, a winner of three straight stakes this year, is owned by the partnership of Allen Racing and Bloom Racing Stable. Spawr noted that she'd ship to Kentucky on Monday, along with stablemate Skye Diamonds, who'll run next Saturday in the $300,000, Grade I Humana Distaff at seven furlongs. Smith will be the stable's rider there, also.

Spawr, who won the 2011 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs with champion Amazombie (also with Smith aboard), ships to Kentucky on Monday, too.

Michael Dubb and Monomoy Stables' Monomoy Girl completed her major preparation for the May 4 Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) Saturday morning with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.60 in company with allowance winner Secret House (1:02).

“She went really good,” said jockey Florent Geroux as they jogged off the racetrack. “She's not even tired.”

Monomoy Girl is the likely morning line favorite for the Kentucky Oaks, according to Churchill Downs' morning line odds maker Mike Battaglia.

“I'm sure I'll get to be a little more nervous Friday when we're leading over the favorite for the Oaks,” trainer Brad Cox said. “She continues to do well and I'm getting excited for Friday. The Oaks and Derby exclusive training period is pretty cool for all of the fans and media to get a look at all of the horses on the track at once.”

Cox's other Kentucky Oaks contender, Medallion Racing and Jerry McClanahan's Fantasy (GIII) winner Sassy Sienna, breezed a half-mile in :49.20 with jockey Gary Stevens in the saddle.

“She really progressed this winter in Arkansas,” Cox said. “We got her back to Churchill the other week and she continues to do well.”

Needing four defections to make the field, Ike and Dawn Thrash's Kelly's Humor worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 Saturday morning.

If the Midnight Lute filly does not make the Kentucky Oaks field she will likely enter the Eight Belles (GII) on May 4 at Churchill Downs, according to Cox.

Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi's UAE Derby (G2) runner-up Rayya breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 at Santa Anita Park.

Rayya will ship to Churchill Downs on Monday with the rest of Bob Baffert's Derby weekend stakes contenders.

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