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Bonny South Holds Gamely in Exciting Edition of Doubledogdare
Credit: Keeneland Photo

Bonny South Holds Gamely in Exciting Edition of Doubledogdare

LEXINGTON, KY – Juddmonte Farms homebred Bonny South‘s 2021 debut couldn’t have gone much better as she gamely held off a pair of rivals to win Friday’s exciting edition of the $100,000 Baird Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

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Bonny South broke from post 5 under Florent Geroux as the 7/2 second choice in the field of six fillies and mares and settled into a mid-pack stalking position outside Eres Tu.

Graceful Princess outkicked the 3/2 favorite Speech heading into the clubhouse turn, then posted opening fractions of :24.11, :48.02, and 1:12.06 while under a tight hold on the backstretch.

Speech gave way heading into the far turn just as Bonny South made her move toward the front, beating the trailing 9/5 second choice Royal Flag to the punch and taking over midway through cornering.

Graceful Princess refused to yield along the rail and fought back at the top of the stretch as Royal Flag made a three-wide bid to challenge for the lead, but Bonny South fought hard to keep her foes at bay.

The Brad Cox trainee crossed the wire a head clear, stopping the clock at 1:43.46 for the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route.

Bonny South (middle) defeats Royal Flag (near) and Graceful Princess (Credit: Keeneland Photo)

“Today, there wasn’t much pace,” said Geroux, who now has a 6-2-3-0 record aboard Bonny South. “The idea with her was to see how she broke and I couldn’t really rush her, but at the same token, I couldn’t be too far back and try to make a late run. She had a nice trip. When I asked her turning for home, she gave me a nice kick. She was very brave at the end to hold off Royal Flag. She was fighting at the end.”

Royal Flag was deemed to have gotten the better of Graceful Princess by another head in a thrilling three-horse photo finish. Eres Tu was 4 1/2 lengths lengths back in fourth.

High Regard and Speech (eased across the wire) completed the order of finish. Bajan Girl scratched.

Bonny South’s win was her first since the March 2020 Fair Ground Oaks (G2) and improved her overall record to 9-4-3-0. The 4-year-old Munnings filly has now earned $592,150.

“I felt like physically she’d moved forward from 3 to 4,” Cox said. “She’s certainly been working that way in the mornings. She had a big work last weekend at Churchill and was kinda touting herself. Florent did a good job realizing there wasn’t a lot of pace. She had a little bit of a wide trip and dug in late. I was very proud of her.”

Bonny South returned $9.40 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.20 to show. Royal Flag brought back $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show. Graceful Princess paid $4.40 to show.

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