Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou Clash in CCA Oaks

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D.S. Williamson

July 17th, 2018

The 2018 Saratoga Meet kicks off on Friday, July 20. Saturday's top races are the Grade 1 Diana and the Grade 3 Sanford. Horesplayers should look at both because there's a great chance that Saratoga lives up to it's moniker, the Graveyard of Favorites, in both races.

But, as awesome as the Diana and Sanford should be, nothing beats the showdown between Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou in the Coaching Club American Oaks on Sunday. The Coaching Club American Oaks is one of the premiere races for 3-year-old fillies in the country. Last year, Abel Tasman won the CCA Oaks. The year before, Songbird took it. Because the CCA Oaks is at 1 1/8 miles, horses that run well in it often transfer that great form to the BC Distaff. This year, the CCA Oaks should be even more awesome than it has in past years.

The reason? Both Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou, the two best 3-year-old fillies in the United States, throw down in the CCA Oaks on Sunday, July 22.

Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou Clash in CCA Oaks

Other fillies will run in the CCA Oaks this Sunday. Let's be honest, though, which one of those fillies will take down Monomoy Girl or Midnight Bisou?

That doesn't mean the pressure is off Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou. Because Wonder Gadot won the Queen's Plate last weekend, Girl and Bisou must step up their game if they hope to nail down the Eclipse for top 3-year-old filly.

Monomoy Girl

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Monomoy Girl winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography

I'm still amazed how Monomoy Girl broke from post 14, ran the first quarter-mile on the pace in :23.48, and still won the Kentucky Oaks. To me, Monomoy Girl's Kentucky Oaks win was one of the most daring I've seen in a long time.

She's got absolutely no fear. Only a neck loss in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old is what's keeping Monomoy Girl from being undefeated. Sure, she's a $100,000 Keeneland September Sale purchase, but it only cost her breeders $12,500 to send their broodmare Drumette to sire Tapizar.

That makes Monomoy Girl is a blue collar runner who just, well, loves to hit the racetrack and beat her opponents.

The fact that she runs without blinkers tells me that she enjoys winning races.

Midnight Bisou

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Midnight Bisou winning the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita -© BENOIT PHOTO

For the Mother Goose, my money was on Road to Victory, the only horse to have ever beaten

Monomoy Girl. Obviously, I didn't cash. Midnight Bisou won the way she's supposed to, track the leaders and then blow by them.

She can also close from the clouds, which means she might have a tactical edge if the pace is swift. What happened to her in the Kentucky Oaks? There are easy answers for that. The track was super tight that day, which benefited speed. Not only that, but even though Monomoy Girl and the other front runners ran a somewhat swift quarter-mile, they got the half-mile in :47.70.

I don't expect the CCA Oaks to play out the way the Kentucky Oaks played out. Still, Midnight Bisou has it tough versus Monomoy Girl on Sunday. The problem with beating horses like Monomoy Girl is that they relish the challenge.

Monomoy Girl wants to fight. She wants other fillies to challenge her. Will Midnight Bisou continue to fight Monomoy Girl to the wire? Or, will Midnight Bisou throw in the towel once she realizes Monomoy Girl isn't Road to Victory?

I don't have the answer to that question. It sure is going to be fun finding out the answer on Sunday, though, right?