The half-brother to champion Monomoy Girl, Mr. Monomoy lived up to his breeding with a 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds. The 3-year-old son of Palace Malice grabbed the lead at the start, turned back a challenge from Blackberry Wine at the head of the lane, and powered away from the field of 11 under jockey Florent Geroux. Trained by Brad Cox for the partnership of Sol Kumin's Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, and Doheny Racing Stable, Mr. Monomoy (7-1) ran nine furlongs over the Fair Grounds' fast main track in 1:50.43.
The victory earns Mr. Monomoy 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, adding to the two points he earned by finishing third in last month's G3 Lecomte Stakes. His new total of 52 points tops the current leaderboard, and the colt would be Cox's first start in the Run for the Roses.
“He galloped out well last time and I thought he could get this distance,” Cox said. “I thought the draw today gave him the opportunity to break and clear if he wanted, and obviously he was willing to do it. Florent put him in a great spot and he stepped up to the plate today and proved that he belongs. We have a long way to go but we expect him to come out in good order. It will probably be one more race before the Derby, what race that will be we don't know. We just have to see how he comes out of it and see what other horses run in the next few weeks and see how everything unfolds but we're really happy with him.”
Risen Star runner-up Enforceable, the Lecomte winner, sits third with 33 points after Saturday's contests.
The full Kentucky Derby leaderboard can be accessed here: Derby Leaderboard.
Geroux sent Mr. Monomoy straight to the front in the Risen Star, pulling away to a comfortable one-length lead through the clubhouse turn. He set measured fractions of :24.22 and :48.57 while tracked by the post-time favorite Blackberry Wine in second. Digital was up close, as well as Ready to Roll and Silver State. Enforceable made a mid-race move from the rear of the field to mid-pack, poised on the rail to made his bid in the stretch.
Blackberry Wine headed Mr. Monomoy around the far turn, but Mr. Monomoy had a lot left in the tank and pulled away from the field after changing leads in the stretch. He was never seriously threatened to the wire, cruising under it with a three-length margin over the late-running Enforceable.
“We had a really good start out of the gate,” Geroux explained. “I was thinking about stalking, but when I saw no one was really going for the lead I took advantage of it and went for it. It worked really nicely for me. It was a good distance and there was no real competition up front. Last time he did have a bad trip, but it was partly the break. He's still a new horse and learning everything but he showed me a lot today, I'm really happy with him.”
Silver State checked in third, while Farmington Road was fourth.
The remaining order of finish was: Digital, Scabbard, Blackberry Wine, Moon Over Miami, Ready to Roll, Perfect Revenge, and Shashashakemeup.
Bred in Kentucky by FPF LLC & Highfield Ranch, Mr. Monomoy was a $60,000 weanling at the Keeneland November sale. The half-brother to Kentucky Oaks winner and 2018 champion Monomoy Girl was given his start under saddle in Europe, after which he brought $202,230 at the Arqana May 2-year-old sale. After breaking his maiden at second asking in November at Churchill, Mr. Monomoy ran second in allowance at the Fair Grounds and then third in last month's Lecomte. Overall, the Risen Star improves his record to 2-1-1 from five starts for earnings of over $320,000.
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 © 2020 Paulick Report.