Bonny South Another Top Filly For Munnings
Munnings’ top hand in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks got even stronger on Saturday when Bonny South (3f Munnings x Touch The Star, by Tapit) won the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks to earn 100 points on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard.
Racing over 1 1/16 miles in her stakes debut, the flashy Juddmonte-owned and bred filly dropped to the back of the field almost immediately. She was in no hurry under Florent Geroux as the field sorted out in front of her with multiple horses vying for the lead.
As the field rounded the far turn, Bonny South moved a bit closer though still left herself plenty of work to do coming into the stretch. She had everyone left to pass with a furlong left to run with Munnings’ Finite in the lead, but as Finite started fading, Bonny South made a charge toward the win down the center of the track. There was no stopping Bonny South as she flew to a 2 1/4 length victory for trainer Brad Cox.
“This filly has just stepped up immensely,” Cox said. “Even when we were walking up and handing her to the pony, we were like wow she looks like she is bigger and stronger. She is getting better every day. I guess she is in the Kentucky Oaks, just have to figure out how to get to September 4th. That’s a long way off and just have to see how things play out. Very proud of her she ran a great race today.”
The Juddmonte Farms homebred is one of two winners from two to race out of Tapit mare Touch The Star, a half-sister to Group I winner Etoile Montante, the dam of Grade II winner Starformer. Her extended family also includes Group/Grade I winners Kings Will Dream, Sight Seek, Expert Eye, and Special Duty.
Munnings bred to Tapit mares has also produced Grade II winner and Kentucky Oaks hopeful Finite, who finished fourth in the race. Munnings is the sire of 16 graded stakes winners overall, including another Oaks hopeful in Venetian Harbor.