Monomoy Stables and Michael Dubb’s undefeated Monomoy Girl, the impressive 6 ½-length winner of the $82,670 Rags to Riches Overnight Stakes, tops a field of a dozen 2-year-old fillies entered for Saturday’s 74th running of the $200,000 Golden Rod (Grade II) at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/16-mile race is the co-headliner on the second-to-last of the 21-day Fall Meet. Billed as “Stars of Tomorrow II,” each of the 12 races is exclusively for 2-year-olds.
The Golden Rod – a “Prep Season” race on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” in which the Top 4 finishers will receive 10-4-2-1 points, respectively – goes as Race 9 at 4:57 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 1 p.m. The co-featured $200,000 Kentucky Jockey (GII), which attracted 14 colts and geldings, is Race 11 at 5:56 p.m.
Monomoy Girl (3-3-0-0—$99,350), trained by Brad Cox, landed post No. 6 under Florent Geroux. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapizar is one of three stakes winner in the field.
Prior to winning the Oct. 29 Rags to Riches, Monomoy Girl was victorious in two turf races: a maiden special weight by 3 ¾ lengths on Sept. 5 at Indiana Grand, and a first-level allowance by 1 ¼ lengths on Sept. 28 at Churchill Downs.
Monomoy Girl’s chief rivals include the pair of Eddie Kenneally-trained juveniles: Homewrecker Racing’s Dessert Honeys and Joseph Sutton’s Sultry. Dessert Honeys (4-1-2-0—$158,170), a six-length maiden winner on Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs, was the runner-up in Gulfstream Park’s Sept. 2 Florida Sire Susan’s Girl Stakes and Sept. 30 Florida Sire My Dear Girl Stakes. The daughter of High Cotton drew post No 3 with Channing Hill. Sultry (5-3-0-0—$126,606), a filly by Malibu Moon, was the 1 ¼-length winner of the Spendthrift Juvenile Filly Stallion Stakes on Oct. 29 at Churchill Downs. Sultry drew post 4 with Corey Lanerie aboard.
The race also attracted Ellis Park Debutante winner Kelly’s Humor. Owned by Dawn and Ike Thrash and trained by Cox, Kelly’s Humor (4-2-1-0—$116,910) was most recently fifth in the Oct. 6 Alcibiades Stakes (GI) and the runner-up in the Sept. 16 Pocahontas (GII) – the kickoff for the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
John Oxley and Gary Barber’s Road To Victory (1-1-0-0—$29,350), a 3 ½-length maiden winner at Woodbine in her lone start, will try dirt for the first time for trainer Mark Casse. Julien Leparoux rides Road to Victory and could tie Hall of Fame jockey Don Brumfield for the most wins in the race. Leparoux previously won the Golden Rod aboard Pure Clan (2007), Kathmanblu (2010) and Carina Mia (2015).
Trainer George “Rusty” Arnold II has a trio of entrants in the Golden Rod: G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Jessamine Stakes (GIII) third-place finisher Cash Out (3-1-0-1—$95,490), Calumet Farm’s Rags to Riches third-place finisher Foxtrot Sally (3-1-0-2—$42,513), and Narola Stable’s maiden Ipanema Beach (1-0-1-0—$13,000).
The complete Golden Rod field from the rail out (with jockeys): Caroline the Great (Calvin Borel); Undivided (Alex Canchari); Dessert Honeys (Hill); Sultry (Lanerie); Road to Victory (Leparoux); Monomoy Girl (Geroux); Cash Out (Junior Alvarado); Stronger Than Ever (Robby Albarado); Deadline (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Kelly’s Humor (Ricardo Santana Jr.); Foxtrot Sally (Joe Rocco Jr.); and Ipanema Beach (Chris Landeros).