May 25, 2024

Monomoy Girl, Swiss Skydiver meet for second time in Apple Blossom

Monomoy Girl continued her winning habit in the Bayakoa (Coady Photography)

Apple Blossom H. (G1) — 7:09 p.m. ET

A second clash between the outstanding champions Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver highlights the 2021 renewal of the $1 million Apple Blossom H. (G1) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.

Two-time champion Monomoy Girl, who’s crossed the wire first in all but one of her 16 lifetime starts, was a facile, two-length winner of her season debut in the Feb. 28 Bayakoa (G3) at Oaklawn and will tote 124 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom.

Swiss Skydiver, last year’s champion three-year-old filly, also captured her season debut, the March 13 Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, by 2 3/4 lengths. Winner of five graded stakes last year, including a thrilling renewal of the Preakness (G1) over Horse of the Year Authentic, Swiss Skydiver will carry 122 pounds.

The lone previous meeting between the two occurred last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland. Carrying scale weight of 124 pounds, three more than Swiss Skydiver, Monomoy Girl won by 1 3/4 lengths as the even-money favorite. Swiss Skydiver, who was farther off the pace than usual after stumbling at the start, weakened through the stretch after reaching contention and finished a sub-par seventh.

Letruska, a four-time graded winner in the U.S., is the primary threat to upset one or both of the top two. Dominating winner of the Royal Delta (G3) and Houston Ladies Classic (G3) over the winter, the daughter of Super Saver was beaten a head by Shedaresthedevil in the Azeri (G3) last time.

Getridofwhatailesu, who captured the Pippin S. earlier in the Oaklawn meet prior to running third in the Azeri, is another likely seeking a smaller slice of the purse. Bayakoa also-rans Chance to Shine and Another Broad complete the field of six.