NEW ORLEANS, LA – Juddmonte Farms homebred Bonny South ran a pure beaut of a race on Saturday, allowing the speed to burn out before picking up the pieces and winning $400,000 Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).
Breaking from post 4 under Florent Geroux at 6/1 odds, Bonny South languished at the rear of the six-horse field while saving ground along the rail. Up front, Stop Shoppin Tammy pressured the pacesetting French Rose through opening fractions of :24.30, :47.91, and 1:12.66 while the 1/5 favorite Finite watched closely from a three-wide position.
Shifting out to run four-wide in the far turn, Bonny South swung six-wide at the top of the stretch and began mowing down the field. Taking the top spot away from new leader Tempers Rising inside the 1/8 pole, Bonny South continued running strongly through to the wire.
Trained by Brad Cox, Bonny South crossed 2 1/4 growing lengths clear in a final time of 1:43.57 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“I ride her with a lot of confidence,” Geroux said. “Last time out, she beat a very nice filly. Today, of course, I thought about Finite and how she has been running well. I was just hoping she would take a step down and we would take a step up.”
Tempers Rising took second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Antoinette, while Finite faded in the stretch to finish fourth. Stop Shoppin Tammy and French Rose also weakened late before completing the order of finish. The results directly opposed the running lines through the race’s first 6 furlongs.
The Fair Grounds Oaks is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Bonny South earned 100 points for the win, with Tempers Rising receiving 40 for second, Antoinette 20 for third, and Finite 10 for fourth.
Bonny South’s win was her third straight, having broken her maiden locally on December 22 before taking an allowance event at Oaklawn Park on February 15. The 3-year-old daughter of Munnings carries a record of 4-3-0-0 with $323,350 earned.
“All I know is that I don’t think she likes to be rushed early,” Cox said. “Florent said she kind of went around nice and easy today. Obviously, she’s a very nice filly. This filly has just stepped up immensely. Even when we were walking up and handing her to the pony, we were like, ‘Wow, she looks like she is bigger and stronger.’ She is getting better every day. Very proud of her; she ran a great race today. Congratulations to Juddmonte Farms. Very thankful to have her in the barn.”
Bonny South returned $14.20 to win, $6 to place, and $4.20 to show. Tempers Rising brought back $8.60 to place and $6.20 to show, while Antoinette paid $6 to show.