Bilingual looks for Jamaica Oaks redemption
OUTCLASSED by SHE'S A MANEATER in her last two races, BILINGUAL gets a reprieve in Saturday's Jamaica Oaks with her nemesis laid up by a pulled muscle and shifting focus to June's Jamaica Derby.
Of the other seven fillies in the 10-furlong Oaks, Richard Azan's consistent MONEY MAGNET and the exercise eye-catcher, MARLENE MY LOVE, are the only ones with the class to punish BILINGUAL if she drops what should be an easy catch.
The trio finished second, third and fourth, respectively, behind SHE'S A MANEATER in the 1000 Guineas three weeks ago. MONEY MAGNET and BILINGUAL ran practically the same race, trying to keep pace with SHE'S A MANEATER, who changed gears inside the final half-furlong to win by four lengths.
MARLENE MY LOVE, meanwhile, ran a contrasting Guineas race, opting to sit in the pace instead of taking charge as she had done on the lead in the Thornbird Stakes. However, the change in tactics didn't make a difference as she again proved fourth best.
The Oaks trip, however, is virgin territory for the top three contending fillies. None have gone past a mile or have attempted two turns in a competitive race, a factor which could turn the race on its head despite BILINGUAL appearing to be the best closer of the lot.
Whereas MARLENE MY LOVE will have to improve on her Thornbird stakes and 1000 Guineas efforts, MONEY MAGNET, in particular, is rather game and should not be underestimated, having twice finished ahead of BILINGUAL.
Though BILINGUAL got the better of her for second behind SHE'S A MANEATER in the Guineas, MONEY MAGNET's new rider, Shane Ellis, who replaces apprentice Bebeto Harvey, is a cunning jockey, who could use his smarts to steal the race from in front.
What BILINGUAL has going for her is a super-confident rider, Robert Halledeen. He rode the perfect race in the Guineas, sitting almost atop SHE'S A MANEATER's hind quarters from a half-mile out, but was simple outclassed in the stretch run.