Bilingual is the Choice
BILINGUAL, MONEY MAGNET, and MARLENE MY LOVE, fillies who have played second fiddle to SHE'S A MANEATER in their last two races, finally get a chance to emerge from the 1000 Guineas winner's shadow in this afternoon's Caribbean Choice Jamaica Oaks.
The trio was second, third and fourth, respectively, behind SHE'S A MANEATER in the 1000 Guineas three weeks ago, almost the same order in which they had finished in last month's Thornbird Stakes, save MONEY MAGNET being second then.
With SHE'S A MANEATER out of the Oaks, nursing a pulled muscle and being reprogrammed by champion trainer Wayne DaCosta for June's Jamaica Derby, the Oaks plot has been thickened by her withdrawal.
The distance of 10 furlongs 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.
Going a mile in the Guineas, 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.
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 before the Guineas.
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.
BILINGUAL, on breeding, should stay 10 furlongs better than MONEY MAGNET. Halledeen is bang in form and relishes the big occasions, which should counter any scheme Ellis could have up his sleeves to steal a march on the field.