News and STORIES

Monomoy Girl Will Make Return At Churchill Downs

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Wednesday May 13, 2020
The champion 3-year-old filly of 2018, Monomoy Girl, is set to make her much-anticipated return to Churchill Downs on the May 16 opening day card. 

She will be one of seven fillies running in the day's fourth race, which is an $85,000 one-mile allowance optional claiming event on the main track. 

First Start Since 2018 

The race will be Monomoy Girl's first start since taking the 2018 Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1), a race that took place at Churchill Downs that year. She then missed her 4-year-old season due to a bout of colic and a pulled hamstring.

"With a horse like this, you don't have many options at all, so this probably made the most sense as far as a comeback race. It's there, and I feel like it's the right distance," trainer Brad Cox said. "It's a lot to ask a horse to run off a year and a half layoff regardless of what kind of race you come back in. 

"She's obviously trained well, or else we wouldn't be running her. We're happy with how she's doing, and hopefully, this leads to bigger and better things throughout the year."

The 5-year-old Tapizar mare is campaigned by Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables. She has taken nine out of 11 career starts, which included five grade 1 races during her 3-year-old season. She also has finished runner-up in two other races.

One of Monomoy Girl's runner-up finishes came in the Cotillion Stakes (G1), where she originally finished first but eventually placed second due to interference. 

She will break from post 2 with regular jockey Florent Geroux.

Churchill's Delayed Spring Meet

According to Co-owner Stuart Grant of the Elkstone Group, the partnership is excited that the chestnut mare is making her return as Churchill Downs begins its delayed spring meet.

Fans will not be allowed at the track due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"2018 was a year that you could dream about. She crossed the finish line first in six straight grade 1s, won the Breeders' Cup against older horses, and did everything you could have asked for. She was a finalist for Horse of the Year for the Eclipse Awards," Grant said. 

"We had a number of challenges, and we thought we had her back twice, then there was a question of, 'Should we just put her in foal?' but the team was unanimous to say, 'No, she is a racemare and just because we lost her 4-year-old year doesn't mean that she can't run at 5.' 

"She has been training lights out, so I and all my partners are really, really excited to have her back. This wound up being a perfect comeback race."

Monomoy Girl's Preps

Monomoy Girl began to breeze in late February of this year at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. She then shipped to Keeneland for the second half of March and completed a string of bullets in April. She breezed five furlongs in :59 2/5 May 9 on a fast main track at the Lexington oval.

The 2019 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner was going to ship to Churchill Downs on May 12, as Churchill opened its stable gate to Fair Grounds horses May 11-13. Florida-based horses will begin to arrive May 14-16, Oaklawn Park horses May 17-19, and all other locales on May 20. 

Monomoy Girl shipped in early from Keeneland since she is set to race on May 16. 

Monomoy Girl was purchased at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale by BSW Bloodstock's Liz Crown, as agent. She sold for $100,000 and is approaching $3 million in earnings.