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The Grade 1, $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes this Saturday at Parx will serve as a tremendous rematch between the top three finishers of this year’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Multiple Grade 1 winner Monomoy Girl will look to remain undefeated through six starts this year, with all of those coming at different race tracks. The Cotillion shares the card with the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby and the Grade 3 Gallant Bob Stakes on what is set to be a tremendous day of racing.
Monomoy Girl has been brilliant this year, starting with a win in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes. She then won her first Grade 1 race in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland before winning the Kentucky Oaks. She added two more Grade 1 wins in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park and the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. Jockey Florent Geroux retains the mount when she breaks from post 2.
Canada’s Wonder Woman, Wonder Gadot, looks to rebound after finishing last in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga against the boys. The Ontario-bred filly won both the $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine and the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie on the Canadian Triple Crown Series, but she could not match up against males. This should be right up her alley, though, and John Velazquez will attempt to guide her to victory once more when she breaks from post 4.
The third-place finisher in the Kentucky Oaks, Midnight Bisou was most recently third in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga, and two races back, she was second to Monomoy Girl in the Coaching Club American Oaks. She has never finished worse than third in her nine-race career. She breaks from post 7 here with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith once again aboard.
The full field from the rail out: Norma’s Charm, Monomoy Girl, Jump Ruler, Wonder Gadot, Separationofpowers, Chocolate Martini, Midnight Bisou, and Dixie Serenade.
#2 Monomoy Girl – What more can you say about this superstar filly? She has passed every single test with flying colors. The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff is in her sights now, with trainer Brad Cox using this race as the perfect prep to get her to there. She once again faces a tremendous field in this spot, but she has already defeated every main rival in this race at some point this season. Hopefully she is victorious again here, which will set up quite a showdown between her and the nation’s top older females in November.
#7 Midnight Bisou – It’s now or never for Midnight Bisou. Twice, she has taken her shots at Monomoy Girl but failed to defeat her, despite heavy backing last time out in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Last time out, she struggled to finish third in the Alabama, but the 1 1/4-mile distance seemed to be a bit too long for her. This 1 1/16-mile distance (where she’s a perfect 3 for 3) should suit her perfectly, but the same problems remains, and that problem is Monomoy Girl.
#4 Wonder Gadot – Revenge will be on her mind after narrowly missing in the Kentucky Oaks the last time that she squared off with Monomoy Girl. Since that race, she has won two of four, but both of those came against restricted Canadian-bred company. There is no question that those victories got her back in the game, but she still has a lot of proving to do against her own division. A win here would be awfully sweet for her connections, and there is no doubt that she deserves a win like this, as her consistency has been tremendous.
#6 Chocolate Martini – She seems to be the perfect “hit the board” type, no matter where she runs. As usual, she will drop to the back of the pack and look to make one solid run at the end. That strategy leads to a lot of top-three finishes but rarely to an actual victory. She will need a fast pace if she wants any shot of winning, which does not look to be the case on paper.
#5 Separationofpowers – It’s hard to determine what might happen with her here, but it’s an intriguing move for trainer Chad Brown to stretch her out, despite her amazing win sprinting in the Grade 1 Test Stakes last time out. This distance is a major question mark for her. The only previous start that she’s made ended in a fourth-place finish in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes. However, she has won at a mile in the past, so perhaps she can handle it now. If so, she has a shot, and if the price is right, then she could be worth playing.
#8 Dixie Serenade – This will be her first race around two turns, which is the reason for skepticism here. Two races back, she won the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont Park in upset fashion, but that race was at 6 1/2 furlongs, which so far seems to be her best distance.
#3 Jump Ruler – This will be a major class test for her. Last time out, she won an allowance race by an eye-catching 14 1/4 lengths, but this is a much tougher level. She has only missed the board once in her eight-race career, though, so maybe she can outrun her odds and my expectations.
#1 Norma’s Charm – She will be completely out-classed in this spot, and the distance could be a bit too long for her, which just adds fuel to the fire as to why she should be 99-1 going into the gate.
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