Monomoy Girl confirmed her status as the leading sophomore filly in the east with a dominant wire-to-wire victory in the GI Ashland S. at Keeneland Saturday. Carrying a bullet four-furlong drill at Keeneland last Sunday into her second sophomore outing, the chestnut filly sneaked up the rail to take the lead going into the first turn. She was well held through a quarter in :24.00 and a half in :47.98 and began extending her advantage leaving the backstretch. She turned for home in front by four lengths and finished much the best under a hand ride to give trainer Brad Cox the first Grade I win of his career.
“It’s special,” Cox said of the win. “It means a lot to me that we’ve had her since her 2-year-old year. She’s really developed. We thought a lot of her last year and she’s obviously taken it to the next level.”
Winning rider Florent Geroux has been impressed by his talented mount.
“There wasn’t really a plan, I just wanted to get a good position and let the filly be comfortable,” Geroux said. “I hustled her a little bit from post one. We had the rail and we had the right of going. We just took it to them and she was the best. She can go very fast.”
Monomoy Girl opened her career on the lawn, winning her Sept. 5 debut at Indiana Downs before taking a Churchill allowance Sept. 28. She switched to the main track to score a 6 1/2-length victory in the Oct. 29 Rags to Riches S., but lost her unbeaten record when a game runner-up in the Nov. 25 GII Golden Rod S. She returned to the winner’s circle with a 2 1/2-length tally in the Feb. 17 GII Rachel Alexandra S. at Fair Grounds last time out.
Of Monomoy Girl’s success on both turf and dirt, Cox said, “She’s always been a good work horse on the dirt. She’s obviously dual-surface, but we’ll stay on dirt for now for the May 4 GI Kentucky Oaks.”
The Kentucky Oaks is also the plan for Eskimo Kisses, who closed from last to be second in the Ashland.
“We were really pleased with her race,” said Ken McPeek, trainer of the runner-up. “Obviously the winner is extremely fast and we have a lot of respect for her, but we feel pretty confident moving forward. A mile and an eighth we’re going to like even better. She’s doing everything right, improving, and now we have Grade I type.”
Brendan and Olive Gallagher’s Frankfort Park Farm and Michael Hernon purchased Drumette, with Monomoy Girl in utero, for $75,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale. The filly’s full-brother sold for $175,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale and her half-brother by Palace Malice brought $60,000 as a weanling at last year’s Keeneland November sale. Drumette, a half-sister to graded stakes winner Drum Major (Dynaformer), was bred to Shackleford last spring.
Monomoy Girl is the first graded stakes winner for 2012 GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner and sophomore sire Tapizar (Tapit), who has also been represented by multiple graded stakes placed Tip Tap Tapizar and last weekend’s GII New Orleans H. runner-up Hollywood Handsome.
CENTRAL BANK ASHLAND S.-GI, $500,000, KEE, 4-7, 3yo, f,
1 1/16m, 1:43.74, ft.
1–MONOMOY GIRL, 121, f, 3, by Tapizar
1st Dam: Drumette, by Henny Hughes
2nd Dam: Endless Parade, by Williamstown
3rd Dam: Mnemosyne, by Saratoga Six
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($100,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-M. Dubb,
Monomoy Stables, LLC, The Elkstone Group LLC & Bethlehem
Stables LLC; B-FPF LLC & Highfield Ranch (KY); T-Brad H. Cox;
J-Florent Geroux. $300,000. Lifetime Record: 6-5-1-0,
$556,550. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Eskimo Kisses, 121, f, 3, by To Honor and Serve
1st Dam: Silver Colors, by Mr. Greeley
2nd Dam: Winning Colors, by Caro (Ire)
3rd Dam: All Rainbows, by Bold Hour
O-Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek), Gainesway Stable &
Harold Lerner; B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. (KY);
T-Kenneth G. McPeek. $100,000.3–Patrona Margarita, 121, f, 3, by Special Rate
1st Dam: Margarita Mistress, by Naevus
2nd Dam: Four O’Clock Post, by Regal Classic
3rd Dam: Fatal Hour, by Briartic
($4,000 RNA Ylg ’16 OBSAUG). O-Craig D. Upham; B-Craig D.
Upham (TX); T-W. Bret Calhoun. $50,000.
Margins: 5HF, 7HF, 3 3/4. Odds: 0.30, 5.40, 14.30.
Also Ran: Andina Del Sur, Ipanema Beach, C. S. Incharge, Tyfosha. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.