How to bet the 2018 Cotillion Stakes
Monomoy Girl (c) Jamie Newell/Horsephotos.com
That's the immediate question facing handicappers looking at the 1 1/16-mile event. While champion fillies like Ashado, Untapable, and Songbird had little difficulty winning over the Philly crowd, others have not been so fortunate. Proud Spell, Blind Luck, Questing and Abel Tasman just a year ago are some of them heavy favorites that disappointed in this lucrative Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) prep.
Monomoy Girl, undefeated in five starts this season including four Grade 1s, appears to be cut from the same cloth as the former group of fillies. She has the best early speed of anyone in the field, drew an inside post, and could easily shake loose from these much like she did in the Ashland (G1) and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) this season. She's also versatile enough to track off the pace and win, if necessary, like she did in the Rachel Alexandra (G2), Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Acorn (G1).
Another point in her favor is that she's already beaten returning rivals Midnight Bisou and Wonder Gadot both twice this season, though Wonder Gadot put a little scare into Monomoy Girl in the Kentucky Oaks when getting within a half-length.
Both Midnight Bisou and Wonder Gadot are exiting disappointing runs over 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga. Midnight Bisou was a distant third as the favorite in the Alabama (G1), while Wonder Gadot trailed against males in the Travers (G1).
Midnight Bisou, a daughter of sprint champion Midnight Lute, should be better suited on the cutback to 1 1/16 miles on Saturday. Wonder Gadot, meanwhile, has won and placed often at this distance before, but seems to step up her game more at nine furlongs and up (5-3-2-0 since December vs. fillies). Both are better than what they showed at the Spa last month, but conditions could be better for Midnight Bisou to earn the silver.
Among the others in the field are Test (G1) winner Separationofpowers, who still has something to prove around two turns though she's very much bred for it, and Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Chocolate Martini, who has been no threat to the main players throughout the season.
Monomoy Girl is not bettable in the Win pool at odds-on, so we'll key her on top in exotics this way:
$30 Exacta: Monomoy Girl (#2) over Midnight Bisou (#7) = $30.
$10 Trifecta: Monomoy Girl (#2) over Midnight Bisou (#7) over Wonder Gadot (#4) and Separationofpowers (#5). = $20.