By Nicholas Godfrey
USA: Monomoy Girl (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux), the champion three-year-old filly of 2018, made no mistake on her return to action in minor company after an 18-month layoff as racing resumed at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The daughter of Tapizar was running for the first time since she won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at the Kentucky Derby venue in November 2018 during her Eclipse Award-winning three-year-old season.
Sent off 1-2 for her comeback in an $85,000 optional claimer, Monomoy Girl took her career record to ten wins and two seconds from 12 starts with a comfortable 2½-length victory on a muddy surface as the Spring Meet made its belated start beneath the Twin Spires.
She sat just behind the leaders before taking command as they entered the stretch. “I felt very confident when she came off the turn in front,” said trainer Brad Cox. “It was a great race off the layoff. It was very positive seeing her be able to rate behind horses like that.”
Monomoy Girl missed the whole of last season after colic surgery and a minor hamstring pull.
“I was starting to doubt her return at that point,” Cox said. “I remember when it happened when she just wasn’t right after a work in September.
“I thought that was going to be the end of her career on the racetrack and she’d become a mom but these guys that own her are game and it’s good for the sport to see her return to the races.”
Likely next target for Monomoy Girl is the G2 Fleur de Lis back at Churchill, where she also won the Kentucky Oaks in 2018 before scoring at the Breeders’ Cup.