With a list of winners that reads like a racing “who’s who”,
the Monmouth Oaks is more than steeped in tradition, it’s a proving ground for
top fillies to stamp themselves as a contender for the Breeders’ Cup, an
Eclipse Award or a future spot in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of
This Saturday, for the 86th time, the $200,000 Monmouth Oaks will once again be
renewed, and this outing could certainly showcase the talents of the already
proven or provide a chance for a breakout performance from an up-and-comer.
Among those who enter the Monmouth Oaks with graded stakes credentials are
Seeking the Title from the Dallas Stewart barn and No Such Word, trained by
Seeking the Title, a daughter of Seeking the Gold, won the Iowa Oaks (G3) two
back before finishing fifth last out in Saratoga’s
Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). No Such Word, by Canadian Frontier, scored
her graded stakes victory in the Honeybee at Oaklawn on March 13 and was twice
Grade 2 placed since. She enters the Monmouth Oaks off a fourth-place finish in
the Delaware Oaks (G2), where she was beaten less than three lengths by
division leader Blind Luck.
A local contender making her graded stakes debut is Patriotic Diva, who will
walk over from the Elkwood section of the Monmouth Park
barn area for the mile and a sixteenth Oaks. Trained by Patrick Biancone,
Patriotic Diva was an easy wire-to-wire winner of the Serena’s Song Stakes,
Monmouth’s prep for the Oaks, on July 17. Saturday will be just her sixth trip
to the post.
First contested in 1871, the Monmouth Oaks holds the distinction of being the
oldest “Oaks” run in North America. It
predates the Kentucky Oaks (1875) and the Coaching Club American Oaks (1917).
In the early days, the Monmouth Oaks showcased future Hall of Fame runners Miss
Woodford (1883) and Firenze (1887). In more
modern times the race saw Silver Spoon (1959), Dark Mirage (1968), Gallant
Bloom (1969), Desert Vixen (1973) and Silverbulletday (1999) take the Oaks en
route to their Hall of Fame inductions.
Saturday’s renewal of the Monmouth Oaks carries a Grade 3 status and will go as
the 11th race on a 12-race program.
The entire field, with rider assignments, is:
1. C C’s Pal, Eibar Coa
2. Worship the Moon, Kendrick Carmouche
3. Absinthe Minded, Jose Valdivia Jr.
4. Patriotic Viva, Joe Bravo
5. No Such Word, Terry Thompson
6. Seeking the Title, Julien Leparoux