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Breeders' Cup 2017

Seeking The Title Heads Monmouth Oaks

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 Fame.


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 Cindy Jones.


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

 

 

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