Monomoy Girl, perfect in two starts on turf, led every step of the way in her dirt debut Sunday to easily beat Queen Mum by 6 ½ lengths in the fifth running of the $82,670 Rags to Riches Overnight Stakes on opening day of Churchill Downs’ 21-day Fall Meet.

Ridden by Florent Geroux and trained by Brad Cox, Monomoy Girl broke alertly from post No. 6 in the field of 10 2-year-old fillies and comfortably rattled off quarter-mile splits of :22.73, :45.86 and 1:10.67 before stopping the teletimer in 1:36.29 for the one-mile race.

“I was a little surprised how relaxed she was on the lead,” Geroux said. “She was flipping her ears back and forth on the backstretch. She’s been training well over the dirt surface in the mornings and she proved she liked it in the afternoon.”

The sharp effort will make Monomoy Girl a top contender in the $200,000 Golden Rod (Grade II) over 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs on Saturday, Nov. 25 – her likely next start.

“It was a really big effort,” Cox said. “She had two really nice breezes coming into the race. Originally she really struggled out of the gate in training and that’s why we debuted her going long on the turf. She proved she handled the dirt today and Florent did a good job of getting to the front. The Golden Rod is the next logical spot for her as long as she comes out of the race in good shape.”

Monomoy Girl, owned by Sol Kumin’s Monomoy Stables LLC and Michael Dubb, earned $48,950 for her connections. She paid $8.80, $5.40 and $4.20 as the 3-1 second betting choice. Queen Mum, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $6.20 and $4.60. Foxtrot Sally, under James Graham, was another 1 ½ lengths back in third and paid $6.40.

She’s Pretty Lucky, 5-2 favorite Saguaro Row, Dark Artist, Over Thinking, Firstmate, Grats Road and Missap completed the order of finish.

Monomoy Girl, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapizar out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette, improved her record to the 3-3-0-0—$99,350. She previously won a pair of grass races at Indiana Downs and Churchill Downs, respectively.


RAGS TO RICHES STAKES QUOTES

Florent Geroux, jockey of MONOMOY GIRL (winner): “I was a little surprised how relaxed she was on the lead. She was flipping her ears back and forth on the backstretch. She’s been training well over the dirt surface in the mornings and she proved she liked it in the afternoon.”

Brad Cox, trainer of MONOMOY GIRL (winner): “It was a really big effort. She had two really nice breezes coming into the race. Originally she really struggled out of the gate in training and that’s why we debuted her going long on the turf. She proved she handled the dirt today and Florent (Geroux) did a good job of getting to the front. The (Nov. 25) Golden Rod is the next logical spot for her as long as she comes out of the race in good shape.”

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