Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb and Doheny Racing Stable’s Mr. Monomoy, the 2-year-old half-brother to champion filly Monomoy Girl, will attempt to break his maiden in his second start Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Brad Cox, Mr. Monomoy finished fourth in his debut on Oct. 19 at Keeneland after getting squeezed at the break. The son of Palace Malice drew post position No. 7 in Race 8 Saturday, a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight contest for 2-year-olds. Mr. Monomoy was cross-entered in the same conditioned race Friday at Churchill Downs but was on the also-eligible list and will likely wait until Saturday’s race even if he would draw in with late scratches, according to Cox.
“We’ve had him a few months but he keeps getting bigger and stronger,” Cox said. “He was bought as a weanling (for $60,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale) and somehow ended up in France and Sol Kumin purchased him. Sol called me and said he just purchased Monomoy Girl’s brother out of a sale in France. I said, ‘Man, you don’t miss much do you?’
“He sent the horse over to Bruce Jackson at Fair Hill and Bruce spent some time with him and did a good job. He came to us somewhat of an immature horse but has really picked up. He’s by Palace Malice and has really taken to the dirt well as the pedigree suggested. I don’t really know how he ended up in a sale in France breezing on the turf but it worked out well for those guys selling him in France and I think it’ll work out well for us, too.”
Mr. Monomoy sold at the 2019 Arqana May Sale for $202,230.
Florent Geroux, the regular rider for Monomoy Girl, has the call on Mr. Monomoy, who is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the field of 11 juveniles. Post time is 4:36 p.m. (all times Eastern). Saturday’s 11-race program gets underway at 1 p.m.
MR. MISUNDERSTOOD MADE 5-2 MORNING LINE FAVORITE IN SATURDAY’S RIVER CITY – Flurry Racing’s Mr. Misunderstood was made the 3-1 morning line favorite to defend his title in Saturday’s $175,000 River City (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Brad Cox, Mr. Misunderstood is searching for his first victory in 2019 following near misses in the $99,000 Kentucky Downs Tourist Mile Preview and $100,000 Remington Green Stakes. The classy 5-year-old gelding, named after the hit Eric Church song and album, “Mr. Misunderstood,” sports a stout 5-4-0-1 record over the Matt Winn Turf Course. Four of his eight stakes wins have come at Churchill Downs, including the Jefferson Cup and Commonwealth Turf (GIII) in 2017 and Wise Dan (GII) and River City (GIII) in 2018.
“I looked over the race a bit and it should set up well for him,” Cox said. “He loves it here, that’s for sure.”
Mr. Misunderstood will break from post position No. 4 on Saturday with Florent Geroux in the irons.
The 1 1/8-mile River City, scheduled to run on the Matt Winn Turf Course, is carded as Race 10 with a post time of 5:36 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post for the 11-race card is 1 p.m.
The complete River City field (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Cullum Road (Tyler Gaffalione, Mike Maker, 10-1); Emmaus (IRE) (Channing Hill, Conor Murphy, 5-1); Blue Sky Kowboy (Sophie Doyle, Michele Boyce, 20-1); Mr. Misunderstood (Geroux, Cox, 5-2); My Bariley (Santo Sanjur, Anthony Granitz, 30-1); Space Mountain (Ricardo Santana Jr., Maker, 5-1); Bemma’s Boy (Julien Leparoux, Maker, 15-1); Get Western (Brian Hernandez Jr., Charlie LoPresti, 5-1); Admission Office (Jose Ortiz, Brian Lynch, 3-1); and Lascaux (Joe Rocco Jr. Jose Fernandez, 20-1).
MEET LEADERS – Jockey Corey Lanerie, who celebrated his 45th birthday Wednesday, entered the racing week with a 16-11 win lead over Ricardo Santana Jr. in the rider standings. Tyler Gaffalione, who was the champion jockey at the 2018 Fall Meet, is tied for third with 10 wins alongside James Graham and Brian Hernandez Jr. … Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen held a 10-7 win lead in the trainer standings over Brad Cox. Tom Amoss was third with five wins. … Lothenbach Stables held a one-win lead 4-3 over Sagamore Farm in the owner standings.
MILESTONE WATCH – Entering the Thursday’s program at Churchill Downs, Hall of Fame trainers Bill Mott and Steve Asmussen were tied for second in the all-time standings at Churchill Downs with 717 wins. Asmussen, who has one entry on Thursday in Race 7 (Strong Flag, 4-1), trails all-time leader Dale Romans by 18 wins. … Ricardo Santana Jr. was four wins away from 300 career Churchill Downs victories. Santana had four entries on Thursday. … Trainer Bernie Flint was five wins away from 500 wins at Churchill Downs. Flint would become only the fifth trainer in history to record 500 wins at Churchill Downs: Romans (735 wins), Mott (717), Asmussen (717) and D. Wayne Lukas (532). … Trainer Eddie Kenneally was five wins away from 400 victories at Churchill Downs. … Churchill Downs’ all-time leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey were two wins away from 500 career victories at Churchill Downs.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Thursday for a four-day week with a first post at 1 p.m. The Single 6 Jackpot had a $53,995 carryover in Races 5-10 and there was an $8,031 carryover in the Super Hi 5 in Race 10. … Churchill Downs cancelled training Tuesday and Wednesday due to freezing temperatures. Training resumed as normal on Thursday. … California-based jockey Martin Garcia will move his tack to Kentucky starting next week and will be represented by Jay Fedor. Garcia will ride the remainder of the Fall Meet Churchill Downs and move his tack to Oaklawn Park this winter. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will return to the airwaves on Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. Those outside the Louisville area can listen live on www.espnlouisville.com. … Sunday is First Responders Day at Churchill Downs with free admission or a discounted $29 ticket to Millionaires Row for active first responders. … Every Sunday throughout the Fall Meet there is a “Stakes and Eggs” brunch special ($48 for adults and $25 for children) in the Stakes Room.