Home of the Louisiana Derby

Stakes Recap: Monomoy Girl Grows Up In Rachel Alexandra



It wasn’t the way the connections drew it up, and there were a few anxious moments, but in the end Monomoy Stables, LLC, The Elkstone Group, LLC, Bethlehem Stables and Sol Kumin’s Monomoy Girl prevailed in the $200,000 Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes at the Fair Grounds, earning 50 points on Churchill Downs’ Road to The Kentucky Oaks.


In what was her first start since a runner-up performance in the Gr. II Golden Rod at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25, the Brad Cox-trainee broke out and hit the gate at the start, losing several lengths. Forced to race from far off the pace for the first time in her five-race career under Florent Geroux, the sophomore daughter of Tapizar began her rally out of last at the half-mile pole, and continued on while drifting out late to score by 2½ lengths over the pacesetting Classy Act (20 Oaks points), who cut out fractions of 23.58, 46.83, 111.80 before the 1 1/16 miles distance was completed in 1:43.26.


It was 1 ¼ lengths further back to Wonder Gadot (10 Oaks points) in third. Fourth place finisher Patrona Margarita (5 Oaks points) was beaten 7¾ lengths by the winner. Testing One Two, She’s a Julie and Heavenly Love completed the order of finish. Actress on Board was scratched.


As the .90-100 favorite, Monomoy Girl returned $3.80, $3.00 and $2.20. Classy Act paid $6.20 and $3.60 and Wonder Gadot returned $2.40 to show.


“I wasn’t thinking good thoughts,” Cox said. “I was shocked she got away like that, although she had gate trouble earlier before she ever run. That’s why decided to run her long first time on the turf. Her last three works her at the Fair Grounds have been phenomenal. I was a little worried that some of the other fillies had a race on her over the last month. She showed us a lot. Overcoming things, dirt in her face, passing horses, stuff like that. She’s becoming a big girl.”


“(I felt good) at the three-eighths pole, when I went by Wonder Gadot,” Geroux added. “I was fully loaded and the horse on the lead was coming back to me fairly easily, she goofs around a little bit at the end, she’s pretty much done that in all of her starts, I don’t think she’s a big fan of the whip, if she keeps on running and winning, I don’t need to use it. I think there are a couple things we can work with Brad (trainer Cox) and his team and I think she can overcome that. The main thing is we know she can run fast. She spooks around a little bit, sometimes the whip or a little mark on the ground. She’s very aware of what’s going on in front of her.”


Cox indicated that the locally run Gr. II Fair Grounds Oaks (March 24) or the Gr. I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland (Apr. 7) are being considered for Monomoy Girl’s next start.


Additional Rachel Alexandra quotes:


Bret Calhoun trainer of Classy Act (2nd) and Patrona Margarita (4th)

Classy Act:

“One thing that cost Classy Act a little bit is she broke a little tardy and she usually breaks sharp. The main thing you want to do is just don’t touch her, don’t smooch at her, or take a big hold. Because she did break tardy, he had to kind of shove on her a little bit and when he did she jumped into the bridle a little harder than he wanted. She got a little too keen. If she breaks like she’s supposed to, he probably never has to touch her and she’s probably a little more relaxed. I was happy with it, I wish she would’ve broke a little sharper. I think that would’ve helped us a little bit but I don’t know it would’ve changed the outcome.”

Coming back for the Fair Grounds Oaks?

“I think so. If she looks good after this and bounces back good, I think we will come back.”

Patrona Magarita

“I thought I had her really ready and really fit, but to come off the bench in these kind of races is very difficult. She looked like she was going to be third and flattened out, she just got a little tired. I was happy her race overall too.”

Calhoun indicated the Fair Grounds Oaks is likely for her too.

Mark Casse trainer Wonder Gadot (3rd):

“It’s tough. Johnny thought maybe he wished he went on with her a little bit but we did that last time and it didn’t work. The winner did everything wrong and was impressive. We’ll see what happens. She’s a Canadian bred. She’s got a lot of options.”