Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables' Eclipse Award winner Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) breezed a half-mile in company in an easy :49.30 over the Belmont main track Saturday morning as she completed her preparations for the July 11 GII Ruffian S. at Big Sandy.
Partnered with Javier Castellano, the 5-year-old worked in the company of her multiple stakes-winning stablemate A Bit of Both (Paynter) and was timed in splits of :12.30 and :24.40 before galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:02.10.
“Today it was a very straightforward work, a half-mile from the half-mile pole with another horse inside. I was outside tracking the other horse,” said Castellano, who was subbing for regular rider Florent Geroux. “She handled the track well. Even at the beginning when we started galloping, she was splashing nice and smooth in a good rhythm, good balance and good mind. These good types of horses, they do that.”
Geroux retains the call for the Ruffian.
A $100,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, Monomoy Girl won the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff to cap her championship season at three, her lone blemish coming when she was disqualified to second behind Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) in the GI Cotillion S. The chestnut missed her entire 4-year-old season, owing to a bout with colic and later a hamstring injury, but returned to action with a better-than-it-looked 2 3/4-length allowance victory going Churchill's one-turn mile May 16. Connections bypassed a clash with Midnight Bisou in the GII Fleur de Lis S. last weekend in favor of the Ruffian.
The one-mile event, which carries purse money of $150,000, is the final graded stakes on the abbreviated Belmont stakes schedule. Monomoy Girl won the GI Acorn S. over the same course and trip in 2018.