LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 1, 2010) – Michael Talla’s Mona de Momma rallied from the back of the pack to win the 24th running of $336,900 Humana Distaff (GI) for fillies and mares on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs by three-quarters of a length over Pretty Prolific.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Mona de Momma gave trainer John Sadler his second graded stakes winner of the meet. The Sadler-trained Hurricane Ike won last Saturday’s The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII).
Warbling led the field through brisk fractions of :22.09 and :44.38 as Rosario had Mona de Momma in eighth place in the field of nine. Rosario swung Mona de Momma to the outside on the far turn and hit the top of the stretch seven-wide with only two horses beat.
Warbling relinquished the lead at the eighth pole to Mona de Momma, who was immediately challenged by Free Flying Soul and then Pretty Prolific, who rallied between the two leaders. Defending race champion and 2009 Eclipse Award winner as champion sprinter Informed Decision rallied late to get third under Julien Leparoux.
Mona de Momma, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Speightstown out of the Linkage mare Society Gal, covered the seven furlongs on a track rated as “sloppy” in 1:22.73.
The victory, the second consecutive graded stakes score and fifth overall in 11 starts, was worth $200,523 and increased Mona de Momma’s earnings to $377,618. She previously had won the Las Flores (GIII) at Santa Anita on April 4.
Mona de Momma returned payoffs of $19.20, $8.80 and $5.60. Pretty Prolific, ridden by Robby Albarado, returned $8.60 and $4.60 with Informed Decision paying $3.20. Finishing fourth, a nose back, was Free Flying Soul, who was followed in order by Warbling, Double Espresso, Cassidy’s Pride, Rated Fiesty and Dubai Majesty.
HUMANA DISTAFF QUOTES
JOEL ROSARIO (Jockey, Mona de Momma, winner): “I’m always looking to be outside with her; I don’t want to get stopped in traffic and all that. The whole way I wanted to stay outside.”
Is that the best part of the track right now? “I think so. For me, I won the race!”
Did trainer John Sadler give you any instructions? “To stay outside and start picking them off coming to the quarter-pole.”
Did you believe after the last race that she was capable of stepping up in a Grade I? “The last race she ran really good and that gave us a lot of confidence in her.”
JOHN SADLER (Trainer, Mona De Momma, winner): “The filly has got a wonderful broodmare pedigree, loaded with stakes winners. For her to win a Grade 1 means a lot … If she could get Grade 1-placed, it would be huge.
“We worked her with (Kentucky Oaks runner) Crisp to try and make some good company with Crisp and she hung in there with her.
“I told him to come wide. This race was tailor-made for Joel.”
ROBBY ALBARADO (Jockey, Pretty Prolific, second) – “Good trip for me. Just right. She fired and ran a good one. She handled the track fine, too.”
JULIE LEPAROUX (Jockey, Informed Decision, third) – “It was a good race for her, though she had trouble handling the track; she didn’t especially like it. And she had trouble on the turn. She didn’t like running it and I lost a lot of ground there. But when she straightened out, she ran hard. All in all, it was a good try.”
About Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. The track will conduct its 2010 Spring Meet from Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, July 4. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at http://tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
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