The Santa Super Saturday card at Fair Grounds Racecourse featured six stakes races, but it was a two-turn allowance for 2-year-olds that may have been St. Nick's greatest gift of all.
Over a racetrack that was sloppy all day, race 13 on the 14-race card had the look of a prep for the “Road to The Derby Kickoff Day (January 18)” Lecomte Stakes (G3), and it may have exceeded expectations. Run at 1 mile & 70 yards, Hrh Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud's Lynn's Map needed every yard of that to run down Mr. Monomoy, a half brother to 2018 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Monomoy Girl.
The Mark Casse-trained son of Liam's Map entered Saturday's assignment off a maiden breaking score last out at Churchill Downs in early November. He was sent to post as the 3/1 third choice with Corey Lanerie aboard.
Forced out at the break, Lynn's Map found a good spot stalking the leaders mid-pack through the early stages of the race. Turning for home, Mr.Monomy, who was in a perfect, pressing positon throughout, gave Florent Geroux another gear, opening up a clear one length lead. Just when it looked like he was beaten, Lynn's Map who made up all the ground late in the stretch and powered home for a head victory over Mr. Monomy in a final time of 1:45.09.
“We were a little bit afraid once Mr. Monomoy opened up that we weren't going to get it,” Casse's assistant David Carroll said after the race. “But Corey [Lanerie] said he really accelerated and rode through the wire and I'm glad we got the win. I think this race will turn out to be a very important race.”
Both Lynn's Map and Mr. Monomoy were making their two-turn debuts.
“This horse is only going to get better,” Carroll said of Lynn's Map. “He looked terrific in the paddock today and we are just very proud of him. A few of our 2-year-olds were late getting to the party so to speak. Now they are just getting their maidens broken and are bred to be nice horses. Where we are going next is up to Mark (trainer Casse) and the owners to decide.”
Mr. Monomy was making his stakes debut for trainer Brad Cox after an impressive maiden win at second asking at Churchill Downs.
“He had a perfect trip, just a little disappointed we couldn't get it done today,” trainer Brad Cox said. “We'll see how he comes out of this race. I think there is a little bit of a question mark on how far the horse wants to go. No excuses, just hoping he moves forward off of this and see if he can take us where we are hoping to go.”
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