Champion Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) was bet like she could not lose at 1-9 in Belmont’s GII Ruffian S. and duly delivered with a facile success in this five-horse affair. Glued to pacesetting Mother Mother’s (Pioneerof the Nile) outside hip through a :22.84 opening quarter, the chestnut stuck to her like glue through a :45.55 half-mile. Drawing even on the backstretch, Monomoy Girl stuck her head in front on the far turn and rolled clear in the lane. Vexatious (Giant’s Causeway) was the only one trying to run with the Eclipse winner in the lane, but proved no match, finishing two lengths short in second. It was 8 3/4 more lengths back to Piedi Bianchi (Overanalyze) in third.
“She’s a very special filly,” said Brad Cox’s assistant Dustin Dugas. “She showed up and ran well. She did everything we asked of her.”
“The only way she gets beat is when she’s by herself and she puts the breaks on me,” said winning pilot Florent Geroux. “I knew Mother Mother would show speed. She showed tactical speed when I rode her before and I know what she can do. I just let her [Mother Mother] go on and do the dirty work for me. At the three-eighths pole, Manny [Franco, aboard Mother Mother] was asking his filly pretty hard. I was waiting and I gave her a little tap to get her focused to the wire. This was a nice race for her to come back into stakes competition and now we can tackle some bigger races and a tougher field, too.”
Monomoy Girl won six of her seven starts during her sophomore season in 2018 to clinch the Eclipse Award with five Grade Is topped by the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Given a brief freshening after her championship campaign, the chestnut returned to the Brad Cox barn in the winter of 2019, but was soon sidelined by a case of colic. After rehabbing at WinStar, she rejoined Cox last July, but was sent to the bench yet again with a hamstring injury, which kept her off the track for the rest of her 4-year-old year. Back with Cox once again at the start of 2020, Monomoy Girl made a triumphant return in a sloppy one-mile optional claimer at Churchill Downs May 16.
The winner’s dam Drumette–a half-sister to GSW Drum Major (Dynaformer)–summoned $1.85 million from Bridlewood at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton November Sale while carrying a foal by Mastery. The resulting foal was a fill and she had a colt by Tapit May 25 of this year. Monomoy Girl’s 3-year-old half-brother Mr. Monomoy (Palace Malice) won one of the divisions of this year’s GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds, but was knocked off the GI Kentucky Derby trail with a minor injury. Her 2-year-old half-brother Superman Shaq (Shackleford) sold to Justin Casse at last month’s OBS Spring Sale for $550,000.
Saturday, Belmont Park
RUFFIAN S.-GII, $145,500, Belmont, 7-11, 4yo/up, f/m, 1m, 1:34.13, gd.
1–MONOMOY GIRL, 120, m, 5, by Tapizar
1st Dam: Drumette, by Henny Hughes
2nd Dam: Endless Parade, by Williamstown
3rd Dam: Mnemosyne, by Saratoga Six
($100,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-M Dubb, Monomoy Stables LLC, The Elkstone Group LLC (Stuart Grant) & Bethlehem Stables LLC; B-FPF LLC & Highfield Ranch (KY); T-Brad H Cox; J-Florent Geroux. $82,500. Lifetime Record: Ch. 3yo Filly, MGISW, 13-11-2-0, $3,086,118. *1/2 to Mr. Monomoy (Palace Malice), GSW, $327,162. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Vexatious, 120, m, 6, Giant’s Causeway–Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer. ($150,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Calumet Farm; B-James C Weigel & Giant’s Causeway Syndicate LLC. (KY); T-Jack Sisterson. $30,000.
3–Piedi Bianchi, 120, m, 5, Overanalyze–Adore You, by Tactical Cat. ($60,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV; $80,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $80,000 2yo ’17 OBSMAR). O-Jay Oringer, Jack Bick & Madaket Stables LLC; B-Deann & Greg Baer DVM (IN); T-Carlos F Martin. $18,000.
Margins: 2, 8 3/4, 1 1/4. Odds: 0.15, 14.80, 33.50.
Also Ran: Mother Mother, Always Shopping.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.