They lost their primary Kentucky Oaks (G1) prospect, Taraz, through tragedy last month, but owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms and trainer Brad Cox are back in the Oaks mix courtesy of Bonny South‘s 6-1 score in Saturday’s $400,000 TwinSpires.com Fair Grounds.
Making her stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep, Bonny South trailed the field of six most of the way under Florent Geroux. Asked for run approaching the quarter pole, the daughter of Munnings rallied strongly down the middle of the track in the stretch and won going away by 2 1/4 lengths.
Tempers Rising finished second, while Antoinette edged 3-10 favorite Finite for third. Finite, riding a five-race win streak into the Oaks, tracked in fourth, made a three wide bid around the turn, fought for the lead in upper stretch but flattened out late. Stop Shoppin Tammy and French Rose completed the order of finish.
Bonny South completed the distance in 1:43.57 over a fast track and paid $14.20.
“She’s obviously a very nice filly that was a workmate to an unbelievable filly we lost earlier in the year,” said Cox, referring to Taraz. “She’s really gotten good…she looks like she’s getting bigger every day.”
Bonny South earned 100 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks, while Tempers Rising earned 40, boosting her total to 47. Antoinette earned 20 points, and Finite added 10 points to her previous total of 70.
Although the Fair Grounds Oaks was Bonny South’s stakes debut, she had beaten subsequent Honeybee (G3) heroine and stablemate Shedaresthedevil in an entry-level allowance at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 15 when adding blinkers. Fourth in her debut, she finished second in her follow-up maiden try, but was later awarded the victory based due to a positive medication test on the winner. She’s now earned $323,350.
Bred in Kentucky, Bonny South, was produced by Touch the Star, a Tapit half-sister to Grade 2 winner and producer Etoile Montante. Bonny South descends from 1974 champion 3-year-old filly Chris Evert.