MONOMOY GIRL DELIVERS AS FAVORITE IN WINNING $2 MILLION LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl ($5.60) shook off a challenge from Blue Prize in the upper stretch and then held off Wow Cat by a length to win the 35th running of the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Monomoy Girl covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:49.79. The victory is the first for Cox in the Breeders’ Cup and fifth for Geroux.
A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapizar out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette. It was her fifth Grade 1 victory of the year and comes after being disqualified from victory in the Grade 1 Cotillion.
Wonder Gadot set the pace in the field of 11 with fractions of :23.39, :47.57 and 1:12.11 with Monomoy Girl tracking just behind. Midway on the far turn, Geroux sent Monomoy Girl to the front with Blue Prize launching a bid to her outside.
In the lane, Monomoy Girl never yielded the lead, disposing of Blue Prize at mid-stretch and having enough left to fend off the late bid from Wow Cat.
Wow Cat finished a half-length in front of Midnight Bisou, who rallied to get third by a head over Blue Prize.
Winning trainer Brad Cox (Monomoy Girl) – “She ran the way she was training. She was training like a monster and she ran like a monster. She is a special filly, one of a kind, an unbelievable filly.”
Winning jockey Florent Geroux (Monomoy Girl) – “It was a great trip. She was super-sharp. I was able to lay second off Wonder Gadot. I went to the lead past the three-furlong mark and from there she just kept on going all the way to the wire. This is a filly with great tactical speed and she loves to win. She’s just unbelievable.”
Second-place trainer Chad Brown (Wow Cat) – “We lost some position early; breaking a step slowly from that post. Then there was a horse inside of us that wouldn’t move over, so Jose (Ortiz, jockey) told me had had to take behind that horse and tuck in, which lost us a valuable couple lengths. From there on out, she was always traveling well; pretty far back, but always traveling well. Jose cut the corner, using good judgment, I thought, on the good part of the racetrack throughout the stretch. She just came up short. I think, at the end of the day, Monomoy Girl showed she’s an outstanding filly and deserving winner. Our filly has shown that she’s continuing to improve. Who knows—maybe with a better post, we would have made it a little closer at the wire. (Q: Next year she stays in training?) — Absolutely.
Second-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Wow Cat) – “I think the post position hurt us. I had to drop down to the rail and that probably cost us two or three lengths. We only lost by one (length). She ran her race.”
Third-place jockey John Velazquez (Midnight Bisou) – “She was trying to overrun it. She’s trying to get a hold of it and the racetrack comes out from under her. Even when she’s running she’s having a tough time getting a hold of it. As soon as we got to the first turn I knew, she was trying to get a good grip on it. She still ran a good race.”
Fourth-place trainer Ignacio Correas IV (Blue Prize) – “We were against a special filly today. We tried to beat her but she beat us fair and square. We are happy with the way our mare ran. If I had to do it over again (with her preparation), I would do exactly the same thing.”
Fourth-place jockey Joe Bravo (Blue Prize) – “She felt and warmed up better than last time. Turning for home she still had a lot of fight left in her. She wanted to go get those horses. I’m proud of her.”
Jockey Mario Gutierez (Mopotism, fifth) – “She tried real hard all the way, but she just couldn’t catch the leaders.”
Jockey Drayden Van Dyke (La Force, eighth) – “She broke a step slow, She tried real hard today. She gave me everything she had, but it wasn’t enough.”
Trainer Mark Casse (Wonder Gadot, ninth) – “Wonder Gadot did just what we wanted her to do. Monomoy Girl is a super star.”
Jockey Joe Talamo (Vale Dori, 10th) – “We got off to a bad break and she doesn’t like that. We were back too far early and we just couldn’t catch up.”
Trainer Bob Baffert (Abel Tasman, second choice, 11th) – “She just quit. She just quit running.Sometimes they do that. I thought she was in a good spot, he (Mike Smith) got aggressive with her, but she just doesn’t want to run anymore it looks like.”
Jockey Mike Smith (Abel Tasman, second choice, 11th) – “I wish I knew what was wrong with her. I wish it was something I can tell you so we can fix it.”