Justwhistledixie Looks to Make it 5 Straight in Bonnie Miss
Oaks Favorite Draws Outside in G2
Justwhistledixie, the "people's champion," looks to win her fifth straight race in this Friday's $200,000 G2 Bonnie Miss Stakes at Gulfstream Park. With a solid performance on Friday, it's on to the Kentucky Oaks for the three-year-old daughter of Dixie Union. 'Dixie drew the outside post in the mile-and-an-eighth race, but with just five horses set to take her on, it should not cause her any problems. As a matter of fact it may work to her advantage.
"Having the outside post allows Julien (jockey Julien Leparoux) the opportunity to see what everyone decides to do," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Leparoux is scheduled to ride 'Dixie in place of regular rider Alan Garcia who is currently in Dubai. Leparoux is currently 5th in wins at the Gulfstream Park meet, three behind the leader, Kent Desormeaux. McLaughlin is confident Leparoux will give 'Dixie a good ride, "he's one of the best in the country, if I didn't believe in him; I wouldn't have gone with him."
Justwhistledixie has reeled off four straight wins, since finishing third in her first two career starts. She comes into the Bonnie Miss off a dominating performance in the G2 Davona Dale, which she won by nearly four lengths under a 'strong hand ride.' Off that effort, 'Dixie was made the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager which closed on March 15th. She closed the wagering at 5/2, and has since been referred to as "the people's champion."
"Yeah, they've been calling her that around the barn," said WPT President Terry Finley. "It's kind of fun, why not? It's what we're all about. Her partners are enjoying the moment and living the dream with this filly, who so far has just been outstanding. We expect another big performance from her on Friday."
'Dixie will face five challengers in the Bonnie Miss, including two horses she beat in the Davona Dale. Casanova Move finished second, while Shared Account finished sixth. Her main challenge may come from newcomer, Gatorette, who has won her first two career starts by open lengths. "If someone beats us, they beat us," said Finley. "Our goal is to have our filly run her race without having to run her eyeballs out. We want her at her best for the Oaks."