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Bayakoa Preview: The Queen Makes Her 2021 Bow
Monomoy Girl (Credit: Coady Photography)

Bayakoa Preview: The Queen Makes Her 2021 Bow

HOT SPRINGS, AR – The current undisputed queen of horse racing Monomoy Girl makes her 2021 bow sporting new silks in Sunday’s $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

The Bayakoa is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 4:11 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Bayakoa:

1. Chance to Shine 12/1 – She gives local dirt stakes action another shot after finishing fourth in the local 1-mile Pippin Stakes last month behind a pair of returning rivals. In her defense, she encountered traffic trouble at the 1/4 pole and couldn’t recover in time on that short stretch run configuration, but she’s in danger of a similar issue with this rail draw.

2. Another Broad 6/1 – Her 2021 debut is her third for new trainer Steve Asmussen, who took over after she was privately sold in November and saddled her to back-to-back third-place finishes in the Falls City (G2) and the DuPont (G3). She cuts back from those 1 1/8-mile routes and should have issues with the distance, but she hasn’t won since April 2019.

3. Finite 9/5 – Asmussen’s second entry looks like the heavy favorite’s biggest challenger on paper and brings a sharp turn of foot that she’s unleashed to win dirt 5 stakes dating back to her juvenile season. She defeated older rivals last November in the Chilukki Stakes (G3) and won a pair of two-turn Kentucky Oaks (G1) preps at Fair Grounds last spring.

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4. Istan Council 6/1 – She finished second in back-to-back dirt tries to kick off her current form cycle, then finished third in the Pippin behind the horse drawn directly outside. She has a strong early turn of foot and will likely attend or closely stalk the pace, but she’ll likely need to run a race she hasn’t in 19 tries if she hopes to upset the heavy hitters.

5. Our Super Freak 6/1 – Though she’s shown up in several big dances since changing to current trainer Cherie DeVaux at the start of 2020, she’s still looking for her first win. Her last victory was also her only in a stakes; she narrowly held on to take 2019’s Shine Again Stakes going 7 furlongs at Laurel Park. She was most recently second in the Pippin.

6. Monomoy Girl 1/1 – What’s there to say about a superstar who’s crossed the wire first in her last 11 starts, with 8 of those coming in Grade 1s including the 2018 and 2020 editions of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Her connections sold her for $9.5 million to Spendthrift Farm, who leased her racing rights to MyRacehorse.com and kept her in training with Brad Cox. She’s reportedly working lights out.

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