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Monomoy Girl is early Kentucky Oaks favorite

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Monomoy Girl is the early 2-1 favorite for the Kentucky Oaks, but has a challenging run from the No. 14 post position in the marquee race for three-year-old fillies.

Monomoy Girl drew the No. 14 post Monday and is one of three Brad Cox-trained entries in Friday’s $1 million race at Churchill Downs. Monomoy Girl has five wins and a second in six career starts. She won the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on April 7.

2018 Kentucky Derby: How to Watch, Post Time, Horses and More

Cox clearly would have preferred a better draw in the 144th Oaks. Florent Geroux will make his sixth consecutive start aboard Monomoy Girl, who has won her past two races by a combined eight lengths.

“It is what it is. It’s horse racing,” said Cox, whose other Oaks fillies are Kelly’s Humor and Sassy Sienna. “Monomoy Girl is a good filly, and good horses overcome things. She’s ready to run.”

Midnight Bisou is the 5-2 second choice and will start from the No. 10 post. Trained by Bill Spawr, she is going for a fourth straight graded stakes win in 2018 beneath Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, including the Santa Anita Oaks.

Co-owner Jeffrey Bloom believes Midnight Bisou is in the “perfect” spot.

“We weren’t overly concerned about the post position,” he said. “We didn’t want to have the 1 or the 2, didn’t really want to have the extreme outside. I think it’s a great opportunity for Mike Smith to be able to get comfortable in terms of letting the horses come out of there and seeing how the race unfolds.”

Twelve other fillies drew double-digit odds in the 1 1/8-mile race. My Miss Lilly (No. 11 post) is at 10-1 while Coach Rocks and Chocolate Martini are at 12-1 and starting from the second and fourth posts.

Sassy Sienna drew the rail and is 15-1 with Classy Act, Rayya, Take Charge Paula and Eskimo Kisses. Wonder Gadot is 20-1, with Kelly’s Humor, Heavenhasmynikki and Patrona Margarita at 30-1.

Rafael Bejarano rides 4,000th winner at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Jockey Rafael Bejarano rode his 4,000th career winner at Santa Anita.

He guided filly Portal Creek to a 3 }-length victory in the third race Saturday for trainer Bob Hess Jr.

The 36-year-old Peruvian jockey says Santa Anita has always been a special place for him. He won six races at the Southern California track in his first day riding there on April 8, 2006.

Bejarano came to the U.S. in 2002 after training at a national riding academy in Peru. He led the U.S. in victories with 455 in 2004.

He has career purse earnings of $200,611,833 and five victories in the Breeders’ Cup.

Maximum Security to race for first time since Kentucky Derby

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OCEANPORT, N.J. — Maximum Security will race this weekend for the first time since being disqualified in the Kentucky Derby.

The Jason Servis-trained colt was among six 3-year-olds entered Thursday for the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

The 1 1/16-mile race in New Jersey will be the first in more than two months for Maximum Security. The colt galloped 1 1/8 miles here Wednesday.

In the Derby on May 2, Maximum Security got to the finish line 1}-lengths ahead of Country House. The victory was overturned 22 minutes later when the stewards disqualified the 9-2 second choice because of interference with eventual Preakness winner War of Will and other horses.

It marked the first time in the 145-year history of the Derby that the first-place finisher was disqualified for interference.