Juddmonte Confident In Bonny South’s Alabama Chances: 10 Furlongs Should Be ‘Up Her Alley’

Juddmonte Farms’ graded stakes-winner Bonny South will be hoping for an honest pace in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama, a 1 ¼-mile test for sophomore fillies at Saratoga Race Course.

The chestnut daughter of Munnings won the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 21 in her stakes debut before finishing a distant fourth to Speech in the Grade 1 Ashland on July 11 at Keeneland for trainer Brad Cox.

Juddmonte Farms general manager Garrett O’Rourke said Bonny South will need a good pace up front if she is to close ground on the Ken McPeek-conditioned morning-line favorite Swiss Skydiver and the Bob Baffert-trained Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks runner-up Crystal Ball.

“She ran a good race in the Fair Grounds Oaks, but maybe she wasn’t meeting horses of the caliber of Speech,” O’Rourke said. “Baffert’s filly will possibly be in front and Swiss Skydiver could be breathing down her neck. I would prefer to see them go out at a good clip and Brad has been under the impression that she’ll keep clipping along if they go a good pace upfront.”

The Alabama is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff this fall at Keeneland.

A Kentucky homebred, Bonny South is out of the Tapit broodmare Touch the Star, who is a half-sister to Group 1-winner Etoile Montante.

“The feeling is that the ten furlongs will be up her alley,” O’Rourke said. “We’d love to get a Grade 1 win. She has an exceptional pedigree anyway and that would add to it. I think Munnings is one of those stallions that gets stakes horses, but people rarely send good mares to him. This is an example of a mare with a good pedigree sent to him.”

Juddmonte Farms captured the Alabama in 2001 with Kentucky Oaks-winner Flute.

Juddmonte’s lightly-raced Ricetta will make her North American debut in the $500,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational on Sunday, August 16 over the Mellon turf at Saratoga.

Initially campaigned by John Gosden, the British homebred daughter of Camelot made her first two starts at Newmarket, winning her seven furlong June 5 debut followed by an allowance score at a mile on June 18.

She finished third in her stakes debut in the 1 5/16-mile Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora on July 9 at York before being transferred to the care of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott at Saratoga.

Ricetta worked a half-mile in 50.08 seconds August 10 on the Oklahoma training turf and O’Rourke said the filly should stack up well in Saturday’s 1 3/16-mile contest.

“She has the form, she should suit the race very well,” said O’Rourke. “She probably missed a work or two by having to be traveling and in quarantine. She did have a blowout last week and Bill said she went well. Hopefully, that’s enough to get her back to peak fitness. She does look like she stacks up ability wise.

“Bill seems to be happy with her temperament wise,” added O’Rourke. “That’s the biggest thing he’s happy with is the fact that she has a nice temperament and that’s a big plus, because you worry about them getting overanxious with new surroundings.”

Ricetta is out of the Dansili mare Panzanella and comes from the same family as 2014 Cartier Horse of the Year Kingman as well as Oasis Dream. O’Rourke said that based off her pedigree, Ricetta should take well to the the Saratoga turf.

“She definitely has the pedigree,” O’Rourke said. “Camelot would suggest that she would be able to stay a little bit further, but I like the fact that she’s out of a Dansili mare and over the years we’ve had a lot of Dansili and [multiple champion-producing broodmare] Hasili blood come over here and they love the configuration, the firm turf and they adapt very well to American racetracks.”

Ricetta will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.

While Juddmonte will not be represented by a Kentucky Derby contender this year, they will still have the opportunity to win a Grade 1 on the first Saturday in September when Tacitus seeks his first win at such caliber in the $500,000 Woodward at the Spa.

The Bill Mott-trained son of Tapit has not raced since a decisive win in the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont Park and bypassed the Grade 1 Whitney in favor of more time in between races.

“All his works are geared towards the Woodward and touch wood everything stays on course,” O’Rourke said. “Bill is happy with him and we don’t have a Derby horse the year, so our big day on the fifth of September will be at Saratoga.”

O’Rourke hopes that Tacitus, a three-time graded stakes winner, will follow the form last year’s Champion Older Male Vino Rosso displayed at the latter end of the year.

“I was looking at Vino Rosso and his form line,” O’Rourke said. “After a start or two all of a sudden he stepped forward, found his niche and finished out the year strongly. I am hopeful that Tacitus can possibly do the same. Bill expressed the possibility of going eight weeks [after the Woodward] and head to the Breeders’ Cup Classic if all goes well. He’s a horse that deserves his big win. He’s a consistently good horse at the Grade 1 level but has run into good horses along the way.”

The post Juddmonte Confident In Bonny South’s Alabama Chances: 10 Furlongs Should Be ‘Up Her Alley’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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