Monomoy Girl Hand-Ridden To Triumphant Breeders’ Cup Distaff Win

Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl had a lot of questions to answer at the top of the stretch in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, including some late-race antics in her most recent start. After pressing the early pace, the Kentucky Oaks-winning filly was challenged by the Churchill Downs-loving Blue Prize. Under a hand ride from jockey Florent Geroux, the 3-year-old daughter of Tapizar responded professionally to pull away toward the wire, winning by a length over the late-running Wow Cat. Off as the 9-5 favorite in the field of 11, the Brad Cox trainee covered nine furlongs over the fast main track in 1.49.79.

It was Cox’s first Breeders’ Cup victory, and the sixth for Geroux.

“She ran the way she was training. She was training like a monster and she ran like a monster. She is a special filly, one of a kind, an unbelievable filly,” said Cox after the race.

Wonder Gadot was out very sharply for the lead, but Monomoy Girl wouldn’t be left far behind despite her outside post position. Both she and her fellow Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman kept close tabs on the leader through early fractions of :23.39 and :47.57, moving comfortably down the backstretch.

Monomoy Girl started to make her bid two-wide at the half-mile pole, and Mike Smith was asking for more from Abel Tasman but the 4-year-old wasn’t responding. Both Blue Prize and Midnight Bisou were coming quickly, though, and Monomoy Girl inherited what appeared to be a tenuous grip on the lead at the head of the lane.

Blue Prize couldn’t keep pace with Monomoy Girl down the stretch, and the late-running Wow Cat was the only serious challenge in the final eighth of a mile as she closed up the inside. Monomoy Girl held on by a length at the wire in an effort that should earn her the Eclipse Award for top 3-year-old filly. Wow Cat was second ahead of Midnight Bisou, while Blue Prize had to settle for fourth.

“It was a great trip. She was super-sharp,” said Geroux. “I was able to lay second off Wonder Gadot. I went to the lead past the three-furlong mark and from there she just kept on going all the way to the wire. This is a filly with great tactical speed and she loves to win. She’s just unbelievable.”

Bred in Kentucky by FPF LLC and Highfield Ranch, Monomoy Girl was a $100,000 yearling at the Keeneland September sale. She has had a spectacular 3-year-old season, giving Cox his first G1 in the Ashland, then going on to win the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn, and CCA Oaks before she was disqualified to second in the Cotillion at Parx. Overall, Monomoy Girl has won nine of her 11 starts, including five Grade 1’s in 2018, and boasts earnings of over $3 million.

Abel Tasman was last.

Monomoy Girl, who was the favorite, paid $5.60 to win.

See the full chart here.

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