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Kentucky Derby contender profile: Mr. Monomoy

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 19th, 2020

His sire won the Belmont Stakes (G1). His half-sister claimed victory in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). From top to bottom, Mr. Monomoy is bred to excel in North America’s greatest spring classics, and he took a big step toward that goal with a victory in the first division of the Risen Star (G2) on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds.

Mr. Monomoy had taken a roundabout journey to stardom on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. A Kentucky-bred son of Palace Malice, out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette, Mr. Monomoy sold for $60,000 as a weanling and eventually wound up in France, where he sold again for $202,230 as a 2-year-old-in-training.

By that point, Mr. Monomoy’s half-sister, Monomoy Girl, achieved fame stateside as the champion 3-year-old filly of 2018, so Mr. Monomoy returned home to train alongside his famous sibling under the care of Brad Cox. A troubled start in his debut sprinting at Keeneland contributed to a distant fourth-place finish, but a month later Mr. Monomoy graduated with ease in a similar event at Churchill Downs.

Taking aim at the Road to the Kentucky Derby, Cox shipped Mr. Monomoy to Fair Grounds, where the stoutly bred colt stretched out around two turns for the first time. After he finished second by a head in an allowance race and third by 1 3/4 lengths in the Lecomte (G3), it seemed Mr. Monomoy—despite his regal pedigree—lacked the necessary stamina to beat good company running long.

But Mr. Monomoy put those concerns to rest in the 1 1/8-mile Risen Star. The bay colt returned to frontrunning tactics for the first time since his maiden victory and bounded back to the winner’s circle. After he galloped along with a steady pace, Mr. Monomoy sprinted the final 3 furlongs in :37.58 to pull away and score by 2 1/2 lengths. His final time of 1:50.43 was 0.85 seconds faster than the second division of the Risen Star.

Owned by the partnership of Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, and Doheny Racing Stable, Mr. Monomoy secured 50 qualification points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings, which all but assures him a spot in the Derby starting gate. With his tactical speed, strong pedigree, and progressive profile, Mr. Monomoy has all the tools necessary to emulate Monomoy Girl with a signature spring victory at Churchill Downs.

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