Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stable’s 2018 Champion Monomoy Girl made her triumphant return Saturday at Churchill Downs, winning a one-mile allowance event in Saturday’s fourth race on opening day of the 26-day Spring Meet.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Monomoy Girl sat just off the early pace of dueling leaders Fashion Faux Pas and Talk Veuve to Me. She easily took command at the top of the lane and drew off to a comfortable 2 ½-length score over the “muddy” surface.
“I felt very confident when she came off the turn in front,” Cox said. “It was a great race off the layoff. It was very positive seeing her be able to rate behind horses like that.”
Monomoy Girl went on the sidelines in September after suffering a minor hamstring pull but returned to Cox’s string in February to begin prepping for a 5-year-old campaign.
“I was starting to doubt her return at that point,” Cox said. “I remember when it happened when she just wasn’t right after a work in September. I thought that was going to be the end of her career on the racetrack and she’d become a mom but these guys that own her are game and it’s good for the sport to see her return to the races.”
Geroux had been aboard Monomoy Girl for her final three works leading into Saturday’s allowance race and felt a major difference from being aboard her when she was a 3-year-old.
“She was able to rate a lot easier today than when she was 3-years-old,” Geroux said. “She gave us all the signs in the morning that she was ready. I think it is on to bigger things.”
Monomoy Girl was sent off the 1-2 favorite and returned $3, $3, and $2.20. Racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a first post of 1 p.m.