Monomoy Girl showcased equal parts talent and determination to capture a thrilling edition of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 4 at Churchill Downs, gamely refusing to yield after a stretch-long battle with Wonder Gadot.
The daughter of Tapizar gave her sire a Kentucky Oaks winner to match his own sire, Tapit, who sired 2014 Kentucky Oaks winner and champion filly Untapable.
Breaking from the outside post 14, jockey Florent Geroux hustled Monomoy Girl into second behind early leader Take Charge Paula and fractions of 23.48 for the first quarter-mile and a 47.70 for a half-mile. Monomoy Girl took command entering the far turn and opened as many as 1½ lengths before fighting back the late challenge of Wonder Gadot to win by a half-length in 1:49.13 for 1 1/8 miles. Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner Midnight Bisou was another 3¾ lengths back in third.
“It was unbelievable,” said winning trainer Brad Cox, who had Monomoy Girl primed for another top effort after a 5½-length victory in the Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland April 7. “It worked out just the way we planned. That was the trip we were hoping for. Florent did a great job getting her out of the gate and getting her into position.”
Monomoy Girl is campaigned by Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables. She was a $100,000 Keeneland September purchase by Liz Crow, agent, from the Gainesway consignment. Brendan and Olive Gallagher’s Frankfort Park Farm and Michael Hernon’s Highfield Ranch bred Monomoy Girl from the Henny Hughes mare Drumette.
Monomoy Girl improved her record to six wins in seven starts, with her lone defeat coming in a neck loss in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) last November. She is now a dual Grade 1 winner and a four-time stakes winner with career earnings of $1,120,750.