LEXINGTON, KY – The 2018 race champion Monomoy Girl repeated her success with a strong score in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff (G1) at Keeneland.
Monomoy Girl and jockey Florent Geroux – perhaps the greatest pairing of two mediums since peas and carrots – broke from the far outside post 10 as the even-money favorite and sat a close stalking trip while remaining three-wide and in the clear.
Lady Kate and Harvest Moon took turns leading through opening fractions of :23.11, :46.03, and 1:09.94, but none of that mattered as Monomoy Girl ranged up in the far turn.
Harvest Moon straightened for home on top, but Geroux saw the 2/1 second choice Swiss Skydiver attempting to surge up the rail and sent Monomoy Girl to the lead.
Though Valiance gave her easily the biggest test that she’s faced in 2 years, Monomoy Girl’s class and talent helped her prevail by 1 3/4 lengths at the wire.
The Brad Cox trainee completed the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route in 1:47.84, just missing Noble Bird’s local best of 1:47.75 set in 2016.
“What a mare, just exceptional,” Geroux said. “She’s a mare of a lifetime, very rare. It’s like finding a diamond. When you have it, you do the best you can. It’s a gift. Even after all she’s been through, being off, to come back and still be at the top of her game is unreal. I’m super thankful for the opportunity that Brad and the owners have given me.”
Valiance was second by a 1/2-length over Dunbar Road, who rallied from ninth to take third by a neck over Harvest Moon.
Ce Ce, Point of Honor, Swiss Skydiver (who stumbled out of the gate), Ollie’s Candy, Horologist, and Lady Kate completed the order of finish.
Monomoy Girl’s win completed a 4-race unbeaten season that came after she missed all of 2019 due to various maladies and improved her career record to 15-13-2-0. The 5-year-old Tapizar mare heads off to become a broodmare having earned $4,426,818 for co-owners Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables.
“Words can’t even describe it,” Cox said after winning his fourth event at this year’s World Championships. “I think she plays a big role in our other three Breeders Cup victories over the weekend. She’s meant so much to so many people’s lives. She was my first Grade 1 winner here at Keeneland. I’m just do proud of her.”
A day later, Spendthrift Farm purchased her for $9.5 million at the Keeneland November sale, then promptly announced that she would remain in training with Cox for a 2021 campaign that may include a shot at the Pegasus World Cup (G1).
Monomoy Girl returned $4 to win, $3 to place, and $2.40 to show. Valiance brought back $8.80 to place and $5.60 to show, while Dunbar Road paid $8 to show.