Monomoy Girl Survives Claim Of Foul, Wins Kentucky Oaks
Brad Cox-Trained Filly Wears Blanket Of Lilies
By Margaret Ransom
Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl dug in gamely and out-dueled rival Wonder Gadot down the Churchill Downs stretch to snatch victory by a half-length in the 144th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks on Friday. The Brad Cox-trained daughter of Tapizar was ridden to victory by regular jockey Florent Geroux.
Shortly after crossing the wire, Wonder Gadot’s jockey, John Velazquez, lodged a claim of foul against the winner for bumping with his mount several times down the lane. The stewards reviewed the multiple incidents and, after a delay of several minutes, allowed the result to stand.
After a clean break for all, except Rayya, who balked briefly after the gates sprung open and spotted the field a handful of lengths, Take Charge Paula sped to the front and led the field of 14 past the grandstand for the first time and through the first half-mile in splits of :23.48 and :47.70, with Sassy Sienna closest to the outside and the winner farthest out, but not more than two lengths back. As Monomoy Girl made her way around the far turn, she had passed Sassy Sienna and had only the frontrunner in her crosshairs; it was only a handful of strides before she was well in front in time to post three-quarters in 1:11.49.
Just as it appeared it would be a cruise control drive for home for Monomoy Girl at the top of the stretch,