Oaklawn News

MIDNIGHT BISOU/ Coady Photography

Several Oaklawn stakes winners are scheduled to run Saturday, notably the country’s top-rated older female in the $150,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park.

Midnight Bisou will be the overwhelming favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher after winning all four starts this year, including Oaklawn’s $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 16 and the $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 14.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, a 10-time Oaklawn meet leader and member of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Midnight Bisou remained No. 3 overall in the weekly National Thoroughbred Racing Association Top Thoroughbred Poll released Monday. She is No. 1 in Daily Racing Form national handicapper Mike Watchmaker’s weekly division rankings (older dirt females).

Midnight Bisou is unbeaten in eight career starts at 1 1/16 miles, with the Azeri and Apple Blossom representing two of the victories. Midnight Bisou is scheduled to break from post 3 under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and carry equal top weight of 123 pounds.

Also entered in the Molly Pitcher is Cosmic Burst, winner of the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies in 2018 at Oaklawn. Trained by Oaklawn regular Donnie K. Von Hemel, Cosmic Burst is scheduled to break from post 7 under Richard Eramia and carry 116 pounds. Eramia finished fifth in the 2019 jockey standings with 27 victories.

Probable post time for the Molly Pitcher, which goes as race 8, is 2:29 p.m. (Central).

Monmouth’s 10th race is the $200,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) at 1 1/8 miles. Headlining the projected seven-horse field is Coal Front, winner of Oaklawn’s $500,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) for older horses Feb. 18.

After winning the 1 1/16-mile Razorback, Coal Front won the $1.5 million Godolphin Mile (G2) March 30 in the United Arab Emirates and finished seventh in the $1.2 million Met Mile (G1) June 8 at Belmont Park. Met Mile winner Mitole is a multiple Oaklawn stakes winner and the country’s top-ranked older male sprinter this year.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has named Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez to ride Coal Front, who is scheduled to break from post 3 and carry equal top weight of 123 pounds. Also entered in the Monmouth Cup is multiple Oaklawn winner Moon Gate Warrior.

Probable post time for the Monmouth Cup is 3:29 p.m. (Central).

Finish Lines

Oaklawn allowance winner Higher Power is entered in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) at 1 1/16 miles Saturday at Del Mar. … Oaklawn-raced Bankit is entered in the $150,000 New York Derby at 1 1/16 miles Saturday at Finger Lakes. … Oaklawn-raced Julius ($3.60) was an 11 ¼-length starter-allowance winner of Wednesday’s opening race of the Del Mar summer meeting. … Ramon Vazquez, perennially among Oaklawn’s leading jockeys, entered Thursday with 2,995 career victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.