LEXINGTON, Ky.– Juddmonte’s homebred Bonny South outdueled Royal Flag and Graceful Princess through a three-way stretch battle to win the 26th running of the $100,000 Baird Doubledogdare (G3) for fillies and mares on a sun-splashed Friday afternoon.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Bonny South covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:43.46.
Graceful Princess set the pace with Speech tracking in second through fractions of :24.11 and :48.02. Entering the far turn, Bonny South began to move to the outside of Graceful Princess with Royal Flag moving right behind her.
Bonny South stuck her head in front at the eighth pole and refused to yield to the late bid from Royal Flag to claim the victory.
The victory was worth $60,000 and increased Bonny South’s earnings to $592,150 with a record of 9-4-3-0 with two graded stakes victories. Bonny South is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Munnings out of the Tapit mare Touch the Star.
Bonny South returned $9.40, $4.20 and $3.20. Royal Flag, ridden by Joel Rosario, returned $3.60 and $2.80 with Graceful Princess finishing another head back in third under Luis Saez and returning $4.40 to show.
It was another 4½ lengths back to Eres Tu, who was followed in order by High Regard and favored Speech.
Racing continues Saturday afternoon with a 10-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. and featuring the $200,000 Elkhorn (G2) for older horses going 1½ miles on the turf. The Elkhorn will be the afternoon’s ninth race with a 5:30 p.m. post time.
This years Baird Doubledogdare marked the 10th running of the race to be sponsored by Baird (formerly Hilliard Lyons).
Florent Geroux (winning rider of Bonny South)
On the difference today compared to her strong efforts in the past
“Just her breaking good and putting me in the race a little bit closer than she has been. Today there wasn’t much pace. The idea with her was to see how she broke and I couldn’t really rush her but at the same token I couldn’t be too far back and try to make a late run. She had a nice trip. When I asked her turning for home, she gave me a nice kick. She was very brave at the end to hold off (runner-up) Royal Flag. She was fighting at the end.”
Brad Cox (winning trainer)
“I felt like physically she’d moved forward from (age) 3 to 4. She’s certainly been working that way in the mornings. She had a big work last weekend at Churchill and was kinda touting herself. Florent did a good job realizing there wasn’t a lot of pace. She had a little bit of a wide trip and dug in late. I was very proud of her.”
On what he sees for the remainder of her 2021 campaign
“Hopefully (it’s) one full of Grade 1s – that would be the goal. The (Juddmonte) Spinster (G1 during the Keeneland Fall Meet) would be a race that definitely would be on the radar, having the Juddmonte connections. Hopefully we can get her there and off to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Todd Pletcher (trainer of third-place finisher Graceful Princess)
“She ran dynamite off the layoff. She got the trip we were hoping for. She really fought hard and we are very pleased with her effort. (Jockey Luis Saez) said it was a battle and our filly dug down deep but just could not quite get there. The fractions were what we were hoping for. She made the lead the right way. She relaxed nicely.”
Baird Doubledogdare Replay
Keeneland Press Release
Photo: Bonnie South, (Coady)