Although Iowa Oaks (gr. III) winner Size is 3-for-4 in her career and Iowa Oaks runner-up Ria Antonia won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and was second in this year’s Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), the $100,000 Monmouth Oaks (gr. III) at Monmouth Park Aug. 9 is far from a two-horse race.
The 10-horse field also include the second, third, and fourth-place finishers in the Delaware Oaks (gr. II). And trainer Larry Jones believes he is sitting on a keg of dynamite, waiting to unleash Tapit filly Cassatt, even though she hasn’t been farther than six furlongs in her two starts this year, and has never run in a stakes.
But the big names are Size, Ria Antonia, and Joint Return.
Size began her career racing in three six-furlong races, winning two and placing in the Jersey Girl Stakes. Stretching out to two turns for the first time, the Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider-owned and bred filly by First Samurai tracked the pace in the Iowa Oaks at 13-1 before drawing clear to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Size held Ria Antonia safe after the daughter of Rockport Harbor had moved into contention with a strong run through the stretch.
Trained by Bill Mott, Size drew post 7 and will be ridden by Junior Alvarado, carring top weight of 123 pounds.
Ria Antonia, last of 10 in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) against males prior to the Iowa Oaks, will be ridden for the first time by Jake Radosevich. He will be the filly’s eighth jockey in her 10-race career.
Joint Return is more than capable of knocking off both fillies. She won the Calder Oaks, Busher Stakes, and Our Mims Stakes and finished fourth in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) in addition to her strong second in the Delaware Oaks. The daughter of Include , trained by John Servis, has been on the board in nine of her 10 career starts. She once again will be ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, who has been aboard for all her stakes races.
As for Cassatt, the Fox Hill Farms-owned filly has been brilliant in winning her two races this year, a six-furlong maiden race at Fair Grounds Race Course & Casino and a five-furlong off-the-turf allowance race at Delaware Park. The daughter of Tapit does have two-turn experience, having finished second via disqualification in her career debut at 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs last year.
With recent allowance winner Spring Included having shown good early lick, it will be interesting to see if Cassatt tries to take the track from her. Judging from Cassatt's series of five-furlong bullet works and her :45 3/5 half in her last start sprinting, she appears to have the most natural speed. Kerwin Clark, who rode her in her last start, will be back aboard.
Another with a classy resume is Aibhilin, who has been on the board in six consecutive stakes, having won the Selima Stakes on grass at Laurel last year. The daughter of Sky Mesa is coming off a solid third in the Delaware Oaks, pressing the pace the whole way.
Monmouth Park, Saturday, August 09, 2014, Race 11
- 1 1/16m
- 3 yo Fillies
- 5:51 PM (local)
|1||1Ria Antonia (KY)||Jacob Radosevich||116||Thomas M. Amoss||-|
|2||2Saintly Joan (KY)||Orlando Bocachica||118||Patrick B. McBurney||-|
|3||3Lady Paradime (KY)||Paco Lopez||116||Kelly J. Breen||-|
|4||4Aqua Regia (KY)||Eddie Castro||120||Thomas Albertrani||-|
|5||5Cassatt (KY)||Kerwin D. Clark||116||J. Larry Jones||-|
|6||6Aibhilin (KY)||Edwin Rivera||116||Cathal A. Lynch||-|
|7||7Size (KY)||Junior Alvarado||123||William I. Mott||-|
|8||8Offlee Golden (KY)||John Bisono||116||Kathleen A. Demasi||-|
|9||9Joint Return (KY)||Kendrick Carmouche||118||John C. Servis||-|
|10||10Spring Included (KY)||Xavier Perez||116||Steve Hobby||-|