Unbeaten Monomoy Girl heads Golden Rod Stakes

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Alastair Bull

November 24th, 2017

Monomoy Girl attempts to extend her unbeaten record to four, and enhance her Kentucky Oaks credentials, when she contests the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25.

The Tapizar filly has won all three of her starts comfortably, and at her biggest test, the one-mile Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs Oct. 29, she won by 6 ½ lengths. Trained by Brian Cox, Monomoy Girl has been made the 8-5 morning-line favorite despite a field of 12 runners.

Cox has a strong hand in the race as he also starts Kelly’s Humor, rated a 5-1 morning-line chance. Kelly’s Humor has won two of her four starts and also finished second in the Pocahontas Stakes (G2) and fifth in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1).

Sultry, who won the Spendthrift Juvenile Filly Stallion Stakes on the same day at Churchill Downs that Monomoy Girl won the Rags to Riches, could be the Cox pair’s toughest opponent. She’s won three of her five starts for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

Sultry’s stablemate Dessert Honeys starts after winning her maiden by six lengths at Churchill Downs Nov. 1. Previously she’d run second in two Florida Sires Stakes races.

Road to Victory could be one to keep an eye on for market moves. Trained by Mark Casse, the $500,000 OBS April 2-year-old sale purchase won her only start comfortably on turf at Woodbine.

Another filly coming off the turf is Cash Out. The George Arnold trainee won a maiden on the Kentucky Downs turf before finishing third behind subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Rushing Fall in the Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

Arnold starts two other fillies in the race: Rags to Riches Stakes third-place finisher Foxtrot Sally, and Ipanema Beach, an unlucky second at her only start to date.

Kenny McPeek starts two in the Golden Rod: Stronger Than Ever, who is unbeaten in two starts, and Deadline, an easy maiden winner on the Churchill Downs Turf Nov. 11.

Alcibiades Stakes seventh-place finisher Caroline the Great and impressive Indiana Downs turf maiden winner Undivided complete the field.

Monomoy Girl deserves to be favorite but there is a lot of unexposed form in the race, and a surprising number of fillies switching to dirt from turf. It’s worth keeping an eye on the market when deciding where to place bets.