LOUISVILLE – Monomoy Girl returned to the scene of her biggest win on Saturday and added an even more important victory to her brilliant resume.
Winner of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in May, Monomoy Girl faced older horses for the first time and handled them with the same aplomb as she has with her 3-year-old rivals as she registered a one-length victory in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
“She’s gotten bigger, faster and stronger this fall,” said trainer Brad Cox after his first Breeders’ Cup victory.
The one-length victory over Wow Cat avenged Monomoy Girl’s lone loss of the year, which came in her last start, the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1) at Parx, when she was disqualified from first and placed second behind Midnight Bisou.
A cinch to be named the champion 3-year-old filly, Monomoy Girl has won six of her seven 2018 starts, including five wins in Grade 1 stakes.
In her career, the daughter of Tapizar has won nine of 11 starts for owners Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables.
“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime filly,” said Sol Kumin, whose Monomoy Stables owns a majority share of the 3-year-old star. “This is what it’s all about it’s special.”
Monomoy Girl prompted the early pace of Wonder Gadot under jockey Florent Geroux, took over on the final turn and then scampered clear. Wow Cat closed belatedly along the rail to take second, a half-length ahead of Midnight Bisou.
An 9-5 favorite, Monomoy Girl paid $5.60 to win and covered the mile-and-an-eighth in 1:49.79.
The return to Churchill Downs was nowhere near as pleasant for 2017 Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman, who was last in the field of 11 as the 2-1 second choice.
Second in last year’s Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff, Abel Tasman was beat by 10 ½ lengths when fourth in her last start, the Zenyatta Stakes (G1).
“The way she ran in her last two races, I’m dumbfounded,” jockey Mike Smith said. “She’s not running, period.”
By Bob Ehalt