‘It’s Hard To Put Into Words’: Cox Grateful For Career-Boosting Champion Monomoy Girl

According to trainer Brad Cox, champion Monomoy Girl’s is better this year than she was two years ago. The 2018 Eclipse Award winner returned from multiple setbacks and nearly 18 months away from the races to win this season’s Grade 1 La Troienne at Churchill Downs, and she’s back in next Saturday’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff hoping for a repeat of her victory in the 2018 edition.

The 5-year-old daughter of Tapizar gave Cox his first Grade 1 win in the Ashland in April of 2018. Since then, even without Monomoy Girl in his barn for the entire 2019 season, Cox’s career has skyrocketed; he has now won 15 Grade 1 races as a trainer.

“It’s hard to put into words what she means to me,” Cox said on Wednesday’s Breeders’ Cup teleconference. “Monomoy Girl put us in a position to have an opportunity to have eight, maybe nine horses in the Breeders’ Cup this year. Horses like her definitely kickstart your career and get you to a different level.”

Cox trains the potential favorites in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Essential Quality and Aunt Pearl.

Essential Quality, a 2-year-old son of Tapit owned by Godolphin, won the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 3.

“I think the sky’s the limit with this horse,” Cox said. “He’s had a race over the Keeneland track, he trained there a good bit of the summer, and he’s had two nice works since his last race… I’m hoping he gets a good trip and he’ll be in the mix.”

Aunt Pearl, a 2-year-old daughter of Lope de Vega, set a track record in the G2 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland last out.

“She’s a very fast filly who’s able to carry her speed around two turns,” said Cox. “She had a really, really nice work last Friday at Churchill.”

In the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Cox may be represented by both Owendale and Knicks Go.

A Grade 1 winner at two, the now-4-year-old Knicks Go was transferred to Cox’s stable over the winter. He’s won a pair of allowance races this season, first at Oaklawn in February and last out at Keeneland, setting a track record on Oct. 4.

“We’re 100 percent committed with Knicks Go,” Cox said. “He had a setback and minor surgery after the race in February, and there was talk of retiring him… When he came back he trained extremely well just like last winter, and he had his three-other-than condition. We took advantage of that at Keeneland, but we didn’t expect him to break the track record. Obviously he loves Keeneland. Before that race, it never crossed my mind to run him in the Breeders’ Cup. But after that performance… he has early speed and with the short stretch, I think he’ll be a factor.”

The trainer isn’t sure whether Owendale will start in the Breeders’ Cup. The 4-year-old son of Into Mischief was most recently second in the G3 Pimlico Special, and may alternatively target the G1 Clark at the end of the Churchill Downs November meet.

“Owendale worked well with Monomoy Girl last week, and I feel like he’s doing well,” Cox said. “If we don’t land in the Dirt Mile, we’ll go in the Clark.”

Cox’s other Breeders’ Cup entrants are: Abarta (Juvenile Turf), Beau Recall (Mile), Factor This (Mile), and Arklow (Turf).

In terms of Monomoy Girl, the mare has been entered in the Nov. 8 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. Cox left the door open, however, when asked if she might return to race again in 2021.

“A lot of Monomoy Girl’s future depends on her performance on Breeders’ Cup day,” Cox said. “It was a long road, we had a couple of setbacks in ’19, and took a lot from our staff and for everybody involved with her to get her back to compete and to win a Grade 1. We feel like she’s better this year than she was in ’18.”

The post ‘It’s Hard To Put Into Words’: Cox Grateful For Career-Boosting Champion Monomoy Girl appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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