The brilliant mare Monomoy Girl returns to the races on Sunday at Oaklawn Park in the $250,000 Bayakoa (G3).
The Brad Cox trainee makes her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) last November at Keeneland to cap off a perfect 2020 campaign that earned her an Eclipse Award for top older female. She won the 2018 Eclipse Award for top three-year-old filly.
She will have her regular rider Florent Geroux aboard as she breaks from the six post as the even money favorite on the morning line, taking on five overmatched foes. Her price is likely going to be south of her morning line.
“She’s a very gifted, talented mare,” Geroux said. “She takes her track with her. It’s not like’s only good at Churchill or Keeneland. She goes anywhere, East Coast, Midwest, and does great everywhere she goes. I think that’s one of the main assets for her.”
The Bayakoa serves as a prep for the $1 million Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn Park on April 17.
“We backed off of her after the Breeders’ Cup, but we never shut her down,” Cox said. “We continued to train her lightly throughout November and December. I feel confident that she’s pretty tight and pretty much ready to go. I’m excited to bring her up here. It’s a great racing town and they appreciate good horses.”
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She started off her 2020 campaign by winning an optional claimer in the slop at Churchill Downs last May. It was her first start after an 18-month layoff. She went on to win the Ruffian (G2) at Belmont Park over a wet track and the La Troien (G1) before taking the Distaff.
Monomoy Girls Wins the 2020 BC Distaff
There is rain in the forecast for Sunday in Hot Springs. She is perfect in her two starts on off tracks and overall has won 13 of her 15 career starts with two seconds and has earned $4,426,818 in her career.
Spendthrift Farm purchased Monomoy Girl for $9.5 million last November at Fasig-Tipton’s Kentucky Fall Mixed Sale. My Racehorse is now involved as well. The company offers micro shares for fans to get involved in horse ownership.
Among her five foes is the Steve Asmussen trained Finite (9-5), who makes her first start since running fourth in the La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita going seven furlongs last December. She won three of her seven starts last year including the Silverbulletday and Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds, both going two turns.
Asmussen also saddles Another Broad (6-1), who ran third in the Allaire DuPont (G3) at Laurel Park in her last outing.
Our Super Freak (6-1) is coming off a runner up finish in the Pippin over the Oaklawn Park main track last out. The Cherie DeVaux trainee will have David Cohen in the irons.
Trainer Larry Jones sends out Istan Council (6-1), who was third in the Pippin with jockey Joe Talamo picking up the call. Talamo is still looking to get off the duck at the meeting at 0 for 33.
Completing the field is Chance to Shine (12-1), who was fourth in the Pippin for trainer Chris Hartman who will give a leg up to Ken Tohill.
I don’t plan on wagering on the Bayakoa but there is plenty of other action on Sunday. My Best Plays Report includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.