Monomoy Girl ‘Keen’ To Give Cox His Second Grade 1 In The Kentucky Oaks

by | 04.21.2018 | 4:44pm
Monomoy Girl breezes at Churchill on April 21

Monomoy Stables and Michael Dubb's Ashland (Grade I) winner Monomoy Girl worked a half-mile in :47.40 in company with recent-allowance winner Compass Zone during Saturday's exclusive training session for Kentucky Derby (GI) and Kentucky Oaks (GI) probables at Churchill Downs.

With jockey Florent Geroux up, Monomoy Girl breezed outside of Compass Zone through splits of :12.40, :24.20, and :36 before galloping out five furlongs in :59.80.

“She's been training very forward since coming to Churchill Downs,” trainer Brad Cox said. “She's been keen in the mornings, so we think she's definitely ready.”

A native of Louisville, Ky., Cox recorded his first Grade I victory with Monomoy Girl in the Ashland. The 38-year-old conditioner grew up within walking distance of Churchill Downs.

“I grew up two blocks outside Churchill Downs,” Cox said. “My father brought me to the track at a very early age and I was just mesmerized reading the racing program and attending the races. I would always watch races during the summer when I was out of school and it always caught my attention to be a part of this game. It was very special to win my first Grade I in the Ashland and being as competitive as I am, I can't wait to go out and win the second one. Hopefully it's in the Oaks.”

Monomoy Girl began her career on the turf at Indiana Grand prior to switching to the dirt in her third-career start when she cruised to a 6 ½-length score in the Rags to Riches at Churchill Downs. The lone blemish on daughter of Tapizar's résumé is a narrow runner-up effort behind Road to Victory in the Nov. 25 Golden Rod (GII).

Stablemate Sassy Sienna, winner of the April 13 Fantasy (GIII) at Oaklawn Park, galloped 1 ½ miles Saturday at Churchill Downs with Edvin Vargas up. The filly is expected to work next weekend, according to Cox.

Beaumont (GIII) runner-up Kelly's Humor, currently No. 17 on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard for Cox, breezed four furlongs in :48.60 through splits of :12.60, and :24.40 before galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:01.60.

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Roddy Valente, RAP Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds' Gulfstream Park Oaks (Grade II) winner Coach Rocks breezed five furlongs in :59 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs as she continued preparations for the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) on May 4.

With former jockey Tammy Fox up, Coach Rocks worked through eighth-mile fractions of :11.60, :22,80, :34.80 and :46.60 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:11.80 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:25.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

“Look at Tammy's face, you can tell how much she loved the work,” trainer Dale Romans joked. “(Coach Rocks) is really improving and training well here at Churchill Downs.”

Coach Rocks took seven tries to record her first win but Romans remained optimistic about the daughter of Oxbow's future.

“We've always thought highly of her,” Romans said. “It was tough to get her maiden broke. She got into some trouble in a few starts but most of her starts she ran really well. She proved that to us by coming from a maiden race and winning the Gulfstream Park Oaks”

Cleber Massey's Sunland Park Oaks winner Blamed worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs for trainer Joel Marr in preparation for the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 4.

With jockey Ken Tohill in the saddle, Blamed worked through splits of :13, :25.40 and :37.20 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

“It's exciting to be here in Kentucky for the first time,” Marr said. “This will be the first horse I've run in Kentucky and it's great to be here. We'll see what she's made of in the Oaks.”

The filly enters the Kentucky Oaks off five consecutive victories in New Mexico.

Carl Moore Management's Rachel Alexandra (Grade II) second-place finisher Classy Act stepped onto the Churchill Downs track just minutes after it opened Saturday at 5:15 a.m. (all times Eastern) and recorded a five-furlong move in :59 in preparation for a start in the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) on May 4.

With jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. in the saddle, Classy Act worked through splits of :12.20, :24, :35.40 and :47.20 prior to galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.60 and seven furlongs in 1:25.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

“I thought it was a great work,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “She went to the pole a little aggressive and obviously we are trying to slow her down a little bit, but Brian checked her a couple of times and she settled pretty well. She worked great and finished up well.”

Classy Act was the heavy favorite in the March 24 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) but tired late in the stretch to finish fourth.

“It was way too aggressive and fast early in the Fair Grounds Oaks,” Calhoun said. “She used to be a filly that loved to sit off the pace and actually needed a target to even work in the mornings. She's changed and became a little more aggressive so we're trying to get her to revert back to her old ways.”

Stablemate Patrona Margarita, currently No. 12 on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard, remains under Oaks consideration. She galloped 1 ½ miles Saturday and is expected to breeze next week, according to Calhoun.

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