Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl has now tallied three top-level victories in a row for up-and-coming trainer Brad Cox, including the trainer's first Grade 1 in the Ashland at Keeneland. On Saturday, the 3-year-old daughter of Tapizar secured a two-length win as the 1-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Ridden by regular jockey Florent Geroux, Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stable, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stable's Monomoy Girl covered a mile over the fast main track in 1:34.10.
“She's been training extremely well,” said Cox. “I really thought she was going into this race every bit as well as she went into the Oaks, so we had a lot of confidence in her today. She's a classy filly, I was telling somebody early she takes some training, which means when you're breezing her you kind of have to let her do her thing. She's happy going fast, and I'm happy watching her go fast.”
The start was good for five of the six starters, while Starcloud was out of the gate a bit slowly. Monomoy Girl was right up with a three-way battle for the frontrunning position in the one-turn contest, but rated kindly behind a speed duel when Geroux took hold. Talk Veuve to Me and Moonshine Memories were duking it out up front through fractions of :23.15 and :46.48, tracked by Monomoy Girl and Gio Game, while juvenile filly champion Caledonia Road was kept well off the rail by jockey Mike Smith.
Rounding the far turn, a very confident Geroux angled Monomoy Girl three-wide and easily wrested the lead from Talk Veuve to Me. Monomoy Girl was geared down late to hold a two-length margin over Talk Veuve to Me, while Gio Game was up for third. Moonshine Memories faded to fourth.
“I was in a very good position following the seventh horse [Talk Veuve to Me],” said Geroux. “When it was time to go, I just tipped the horse and stayed behind as long as I could and when I was ready to go I let her go.”
Bred in Kentucky by FPF LLC and Highfield Ranch, Monomoy Girl was a $100,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. The filly has won all but one of her eight career starts; in the G2 Golden Rod, she was second by a neck to Road To Victory. Overall, Monomoy Girl has earned $1.5 million and looks to be the leading candidate for champion 3-year-old filly.
“Obviously, things can change as the year moves on but I'm thinking right now the [Grade 1] Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga [on July 7] then maybe the Cotillion and then the Breeders' Cup, if everything goes to plan,” Cox explained. “She's done everything we've asked for her.”
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.