By Alan Carasso
Sent off a generous 7-1, Mr. Monomoy (Palace Malice) secured an easy lead, set incredibly steady fractions up front and pulled away late to easily defeat GIII Lecomte S. hero Enforceable (Tapit) in the first of two divisions of the GII Risen Star S. Saturday afternoon at the Fair Grounds. Silver State (Hard Spun), who completed the exacta behind Enforceable last time, rounded out the trifecta.
Drawn gate nine and looking to improve on his useful third-place effort in the Lecomte, Mr. Monomoy hit the ground running and dropped down onto the fence entering the first turn while chased by impressive last-out allowance winner Blackberry Wine (Oxbow), heavily backed at 4-1. The $60,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase raced with his mouth a bit agape through an opening quarter in a manageable :24.22 and, with no serious pace pressure to be found, got the next two furlongs in :24.35. Blackberry Wine traveled well within himself and may have put his nose in front passing the three-eighths marker, but Mr. Monomoy counterpunched as the six panels went up in 1:12.85–an internal quarter in :24.28. Asked to sprint in upper stretch and feeling a left-handed crack of Florent Geroux's crop three-sixteenths of a mile from home, Mr. Monomoy widened away entering the final furlong and proved a convincing winner. The winner's final three-eighths were clocked in a respectable :37.58.
Enforceable, last and inside of Farmington Road (Quality Road) entering the backstretch, improved into about midfield at the half-mile and finished willingly for the place, just touching off Silver State, who raced close up throughout. Farmington Road closed off nicely to be fourth.
“We had a really good start out of the gate,” the winning rider commented. “I was thinking about stalking, but when I saw no one was really going for the lead I took advantage of it and went for it. It worked really nicely for me. It was a good distance and there was no real competition up front. Last time he did have a bad trip, but it was partly the break. He's still a new horse and learning everything but he showed me a lot today, I'm really happy with him.”
A troubled fourth on his six-furlong debut at Keeneland Oct. 19, Mr. Monomoy earned his 'TDN Rising Star' with a 5 1/2-length graduation at Churchill Nov. 16. Runner-up to Lynn's Map (Liam's Map) in a local two-turn allowance in the slop Dec. 21, the bay attended the pace in the Lecomte and came home a one-paced third.
Mr. Monomoy becomes the second graded winner for his second-crop sire, whose son Structor won the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and could soon embark on a Triple Crown journey of his own in South Florida. Mr. Monomoy and his Eclipse Award-winning half-sister are each out of a half-sister to graded stakes-winning turfer Drum Major (Dynaformer). Drumette, sold for $75,000 carrying Monomoy Girl in utero at Keeneland November in 2014, was knocked down for $1.85 million in foal to Mastery at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. Drumette's now 2-year-old Shackleford colt fetched $230,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton October sale and she foaled a filly by Mastery last year before being bred to Tapit.
Saturday, Fair Grounds
RISEN STAR S. PRESENTED BY LAMARQUE FORD-GII, $400,000, Fair Grounds, 2-15, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:50.43, ft.
1–MR. MONOMOY, 122, c, 3, by Palace Malice
1st Dam: Drumette, by Henny Hughes
2nd Dam: Endless Parade, by Williamstown
3rd Dam: Mnemosyne, by Saratoga Six
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($60,000 Wlg '17 KEENOV; €180,000 2yo '19 ARQMA). O-Madaket Stables LLC, Michael Dubb and Doheny Racing Stable; B-FPF LLC & Highfield Ranch (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Florent Geroux. $240,000. Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-1, $327,162. *1/2 to Monomoy Girl (Tapizar), Ch. 3yo Filly, MGISW, $2,954,750. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Enforceable, 122, c, 3, Tapit–Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union. ($775,000 RNA Ylg '18 KEESEP). O-John C. Oxley; B-Clearsky Farms (KY); T-Mark E. Casse. $80,000.
3–Silver State, 122, c, 3, Hard Spun–Supreme, by Empire Maker. ($450,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP). O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $40,000.
Margins: 2HF, HF, 1HF. Odds: 7.50, 3.10, 3.00.
Also Ran: Farmington Road, Digital, Scabbard, Blackberry Wine, Moon Over Miami, Ready to Roll, Perfect Revenge, Shashashakemeup.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.