Monomoy Girl Returns Victorious in Sunday’s Bayakoa Stakes
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021) – Two-time champion Monomoy Girl, making her 6-year-old debut for new connections Spendthrift Farm LLC, MyRacehorse Stable, and Madaket Stables LLC, picked up where she left off 2020 with an impressive victory in Sunday’s $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3). It was her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) last November en route to earning Champion Older Mare honors. She had also been named the 2018 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.
Breaking from the outside in the six-horse field, Monomoy Girl, with regular rider Florent Geroux onboard, settled into third as Finite, tracked closely by Our Super Freak, assumed the early lead through opening fractions of :24 3/5 and :49 2/5 for the first half-mile. Our Super Freak put a head in front at the three-quarter mark, but proved no match for the champion, who came four-wide into the stretch and drew off to win by two lengths. Her winning time was 1:45 4/5 over a sloppy track.
Finite held on for third and was followed by Chance to Shine, Istan Council, and Another Broad.
“It’s kind of a relief to get it over with,” trainer Brad Cox said. “I was proud of her. She ran big. I think just given the post and the way they broke and laid going into the first turn, it set up well for her. She always kind of gets that little bit of a wide trip. Nothing really out of the ordinary. It means a lot. I’m very proud of what she accomplished today. Very, very pleased with what she was able to accomplish, and bringing her to Hot Springs means a lot. It’s a great racing town. The Saratoga of the South, I guess you could call it. There were a lot of fans here and I think they appreciate our team bringing her here.”
The Bayakoa capped a big weekend for Cox, who also won Saturday’s $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) with champion Essential Quality in his 3-year-old debut and the $150,000 Downthedustyroad Stakes, one of two supporting features on Sunday’s card, with Shortleaf Stable Inc.’s The Mary Rose.
Monomoy Girl, who was extending her win streak to six in a row, improved her overall record to 14 wins from 16 starts and has now earned $4,576,818. She returned $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10.
Also on Sunday was the $150,000 Dixie Belle for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs, which was won by Fox Hill Farm’s undefeated Street Sense filly Windmill, who won by one length over Goin’ Good. Abrogate, the 8-5 favorite, finished third.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Windmill raced close to the pace set by Goin’ Good, who overcame an awkward start, to grab the lead through early fractions of :22 3/5 and :46 1/5 for the first half-mile. The winner narrowly took control at the head of the stretch and drew clear late to win the race in 1:11 over a sloppy track.
The Larry Jones-trainee returned $6, $4, and $2.40 as the 2-1 second choice.
The Mary Rose, ridden by Martin Garcia, won for the second time this meet. She now has won three of nine career starts and has earned $234,734. She returned $9, $5.40, and $4.
Live racing resumes Thursday at Oaklawn with a 1 p.m. first post.
Winning trainer Brad Cox, Monomoy Girl: “It’s kind of a relief to get it over with. I was proud of her. She ran big. I think just given the post and the way they broke and laid going into the first turn, it set up well for her. She always kind of gets that little bit of a wide trip. Nothing really out of the ordinary. It means a lot. I’m very proud of what she accomplished today. Very, very pleased with what she was able to accomplish and bringing her to Hot Springs means a lot. It’s a great racing town. The Saratoga of the South, I guess you could call it. There were a lot of fans here and I think they appreciate our team bringing her here.”
Winning jockey Florent Geroux, Monomoy Girl: “It was a great trip. It set up great from the start with the outside post and short field. I let the horse in front of me do the dirty work and I just tucked in behind, on the outside, which was the smart thing today with the track condition. When I asked her turning for home, she gave me what has all the time. She always deliver so it’s easy to appreciate a champion. I’m the luckiest jockey in the world right now.”
Second-place jockey David Cohen, Our Super Freak: “I think my filly ran a huge race. Obviously, you go against a champion like that, a lot of horses when they get passed like that, the way she did today, it takes the heart away. She kept digging in and really grinded out a good second place. Galloped out well. I think my filly is really back on track, running her best races like she was prior.”
Third-place jockey Ricardo Santana Jr, Finite: “I had perfect trip. She gave me everything she had.”
Winning trainer Larry Jones, Windmill: “She can overcome bad training. She’s really nice. Kind of reminds me back when I had some good horses. She’s special. I was afraid when the race was scheduled three weeks ago, she would bounce off that big race before. I think it (delay) actually played into our favor.”
Winning jockey Joe Talamo, Windmill: “She’s a really, really nice filly. I had actually worked her in the mornings before her first start and then I got Covid, unfortunately. I was unable to ride her. Really appreciate the connections putting me back on her. She’s just a very, very classy filly. Her trip today was ideal, being able to sit off the lead like that. She was on cruise control the whole way.”
Second-place jockey Florent Geroux, Goin’ Good: “She broke a step slow. She took me into the race early and it looked like everybody was trying to get outside on the backside, so I kind of inherited the lead if we wanted it. She tried hard.”
Winning trainer Brad Cox: “She's a solid Arkansas-bred. Similar trip to her last race. Outside looked like where you needed to be. Martin (Garcia) did a good job putting her in position and got the job done.”
Winning jockey Martin Garcia, The Mary Rose: “I had the best trip, just cruising around there. When it was time to go, we just took off. Easy win.”