Bonny South prevails in three-way Doubledogdare battle
Taken from www.bloodhorse.com, 16th April 2021:
Fresh off a layoff, Bonny South kicked off her 2021 season April 16 with a gutsy win in the Baird Doubledogdare Stakes (Gr.3) at Keeneland.
The four-year-old daughter of Munnings earned her graded stripes last year by winning the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (Gr.2) by 2 1/4 lengths. She then rolled through the summer with three consecutive second-place finishes in Graded stakes, including the Alabama Stakes (Gr.1) where she finished behind eventual Preakness Stakes (Gr.1) winner Swiss Skydiver.
"I thought she would run big," said trainer Brad Cox. "She had a nice series of works over the last several weeks at the Fair Grounds and Churchill. We shipped her over yesterday, and she schooled well, so we thought we would get a big effort. Florent (Geroux) did a good job realizing there wasn't a lot of pace, so she was closer than she was last year in her races, and it worked out well. She fought off a really good filly in the last sixteenth of a mile and battled back in order to get her head in front."
Ridden by Geroux, Bonny South sat in fourth behind pacesetter Graceful Princess, the five-year-old daughter by Tapit out of Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, who is a homebred for Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm. Graceful Princess led the field for the first six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile race in fractions of :24.11, :48.02, and 1:12.06. The leader was stalked early by 3-2 favorite Speech, who won last year's Central Bank Ashland Stakes (Gr.1) at Keeneland in track record time.
Around the far turn, Bonny South made her move and was soon a half length in back of Graceful Princess. At mid stretch the race became a three-way battle between Graceful Princess, Bonny South, and William S. Farish homebred Royal Flag, who had swung into the center of the track full of run. Bonny South held off her stubborn challengers to prevail by a head with Royal Flag another head in front of Graceful Princess.
The final time was 1:43.46.
Cox said this year's plan is to make her a Grade 1 winner.
"The Juddmonte Spinster would be a nice one to win. It would be one for the home team," he said. "The ultimate goal is the (Longines) Breeders' Cup Distaff (Gr.1). Distance won't be a problem for her. We're just very proud of her today."