Champion Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) will face four overmatched rivals in her return to graded competition in Saturday's GII Ruffian S. at Belmont Park.
After missing her entire 4-year-old season due to several different setbacks, the Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables colorbearer made her first start since capturing the 2018 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff a winning one, annexing an optional claimer in impressive fashion in the Churchill Downs slop May 16.
Monomoy Girl, winner of the 2018 GI Kentucky Oaks, is a perfect three-for-three at the one-mile distance of the Ruffian. She is the 2-5 morning-line favorite.
“I talked to [trainer] Brad [Cox] today and he's expecting her to run well, she's training as well as she has ever trained,” co-owner Sol Kumin said of the five-time Grade I winner. “She obviously ran that first race, but you still have your fingers crossed until Saturday. She's giving all the right signs, and at this point, she has to stay sound and do it. Saturday will be the next step. She went to allowance company, now she's in a Grade II and we'll progress from there.”
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert will be represented by the MGISP Mother Mother (Pioneerof the Nile), heroine of this term's Kalookan Queen S. at Santa Anita. She was fourth in the Harmony Lodge S. in the Belmont mud June 5.