LEXINGTON, Ky. – Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl ($4) moved to the front in the upper stretch and coasted to a 1 ¾-length victory in the 37th running of the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
In repeating her Longines Distaff victory from 2018 at Churchill Downs, Monomoy Girl covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:47.84.
The victory gave trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux their seventh Breeders’ Cup victories and second together in the Longines Distaff with Monomoy Girl. It is the fourth victory of the Championship weekend for Cox and second for Geroux.
Lady Kate and Harvest Moon went to the front shortly after the start with Monomoy Girl racing in the clear in fifth in the run down the backside. Geroux began to move up on the far turn and with clear running at the head of the stretch swept past Harvest Moon and had enough in the tank to hold off Valiance who took the place spot by a half-length over Dunbar Road.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapizar out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette, Monomoy Girl improved her record to 15-13-2-0 that includes six Grade 1 victories. The winner’s share of $1,100,000 boosted her earnings to $4,486,818.
Winning trainer Brad Cox (Monomoy Girl) – “Honestly it’s a relief. She means the world to me and it’s a lot of pressure when we run her, I don’t know why. It just is. It’s been a long road back. She’s a real race horse. She’s meant so much for so many people’s lives, she’s an amazing creature. I love her to pieces.
“Words can’t even describe it. 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.”
Winning jockey Florent Geroux (Monomoy Girl) – “What a mare, just exceptional. 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 a year and a half, 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.”
Second-place trainer Todd Pletcher (Valiance) – “I thought she ran super. We had a good trip, a little wide on both turns, but we were following the winner. She put in a good run. Kept them honest to the wire.”
Second-place jockey Luis Saez (Valiance) – “I had a perfect trip. I just followed the leader. I knew she was going to put me there. For a minute I thought I was going to win it, but, man, that other filly is something”
Third-place trainer Chad Brown (Dunbar Road) – “She ran a huge race. She really did. Jose (Ortiz) had a plan and we thought there’d be a strong pace and to come with one run, like we did in some of her races like the Alabama. She ran huge that way. She momentarily had to alter course between the 3/8 and the 1/2 and Jose felt that he didn’t want to go too wide, so he was going to try to slip in then out and it wasn’t there, so he immediately steered her back out and she lost a little momentum. It might have cost her second. It didn’t look like she was going to beat the winner. She did (come back to form). I’m very pleased about that.”
Third-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Dunbar Road) – “I saved ground around both turns. I tried to slip in behind Swiss Skydiver, but the hole closed. I checked a little bit and took her outside, but she ran good.”
Fourth-place trainer Simon Callaghan (Harvest Moon) – “She ran a very brave race. We were there on the lead and under the circumstances she ran a great race. We felt like we had to be pretty close with the (two) post position. We thought we had to go. The other horses had the luxury of a better post position but no complaints. We have a really good filly to look forward to next year. She may run in a Grade 1 back in California, but we will have a think about it.”
Seventh-place jockey Robby Albarado (Swiss Skydiver) – “She stumbled a little bit leaving there. It maybe cost her a little length or two position-wise, but it didn’t cost us the win. I had a great opportunity turning for home and get on through there and get heads-up with the champ, but she just didn’t have it today.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win, but I’m not disappointed in her. What she has done in her career, she has never let anybody down, she hasn’t disappointed anybody. The way she ran in the Preakness, she doesn’t have to validate herself from here on out. She’s a special filly and everybody knows her. She gets a little time now and will come back next year stronger.”
Eighth-place trainer John Sadler (Ollie’s Candy) – “Joel (Rosario) said she had a good position and just when Monomoy Girl came up to her in the middle of the turn she couldn’t really go with her. We lost to a great champion today. But we love her. She’s been a good runner for us. We wish she was going out on a higher note but that’s horse racing.”
Ninth-place trainer Bill Mott (Horologist) – “Junior (Alvarado) said he wouldn’t have traded places on where we were sitting at the 5/8ths pole. He said she felt good, she was traveling well, he thought he had great position. Those good fillies just kept going.”
Monomoy Girl, ridden by Florent Geroux, wins the Longines Distaff on Breeders’ Cup Championship Saturday at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky on November 7, 2020. Alex Evers/Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM