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BENSALEM, PA – Bloom Racing Stable, Allen Racing, and Madaket Stables’ Midnight Bisou profited from a controversial disqualification against Monomoy Girl after the two dueled to the wire in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes at Parx.
Breaking from post 7 under Mike Smith at odds of 4/1, Midnight Bisou sat off the pace while saving ground along the inside heading into the first turn. Meanwhile, her 1/2-favored counterpart Monomoy Girl chased early leader Jump Ruler through fractions of :24.08 and :48.63 before taking command herself with a powerful, effortless move heading into the far turn. The bettors’ choice appeared ripe for a sixth straight graded score as she made a wide turn for home, but she ran perhaps a bit too wide because the rail opened up for Midnight Bisou to make her move. After straightening for the stretch run, Monomoy Girl began fading in towards the rail, which forced Smith to adjust and tip Midnight Bisou out wide. Seeming to sense this movement behind her, Monomoy Girl stopped fading and began ducking out, forcing Midnight Bisou to run wider with every step. Though the Steve Asmussen continued to gain late, she was unable to collar Monomoy Girl completely and crossed a neck behind her in a final time of 1:45.95 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“I was going straight as an arrow to stay in my path,” Smith said. “But when (Momomoy Girl) chose to come over and take it from me, I choose the outer route. There probably would not have been a DQ if (Geroux) would have stayed straight at that point, but he came out again and we wound up in the eight or nine path. I never got a straight run and we got beat only a neck. You got to do what you got to do.”
Shortly after the finish, Smith lodged an objection against Monomoy Girl and rider Florent Geroux, alleging that Monomoy Girl’s outward movements in the stretch run prevented Midnight Bisou from having a fair shot at winning. A lengthy review followed, and in the end, the stewards disqualified Monomoy Girl from first to second.
“I am not the steward,” Geroux said. “This was a million dollar race. A grade I race. I thought our filly was the best today.”
Returning to face fillies after competing her last three starts against males, Wonder Gadot finished 10 1/2 lengths back in third, which she took by a neck over a tiring Separationofpowers. The rest of the field was strung out, with Chocolate Martini taking fifth, Dixie Serenade sixth, Jump Ruler seventh, and Norma’s Charm eighth to complete the order of finish.
Midnight Bisou’s win was her first since taking the Grade 2 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park back in May and improved her overall record to 10-5-3-2. The 3-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute now carries a lifetime bankroll of $1,385,000 – a nice return on the $80,000 that co-owner Jeff Bloom paid at auction when she was still an unraced 2-year-old.
“We thought she came in here really fresh and on her game,” said Scott Blasi, Asmussen’s assistant. “It’s tough to win like this, lose like that. We’ve all been there. That being said, she deserved to win the race.”
Midnight Bisou returned $10.40 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.40 to show. Monomoy Girl brought back $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show, while Wonder Gadot paid $2.80 to show.
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