January 30, 2023

Acorn win continues Monomoy Girl’s march toward a championship

Monomoy Girl with Florent Geroux up wins the Acorn at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 9, 2018 (c) Jamie Newell/Horsephotos.com

Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner MONOMOY GIRL maintained her position as the top three-year-old filly with an emphatic victory in the $671,000 Acorn Stakes (G1) on Belmont Stakes Saturday at Belmont Park.

Making her first start since a hard-fought victory from the outside post 14 in the Oaks, Monomoy Girl sat behind the pace of Moonshine Memories and Talk Veuve to Me in the Acorn through three quarters in :23.15, :46.68 and 1:10.34 before drawing off under wraps and winning by two lengths in 1:34.10 over the fast main track.

“I was cruising the whole time,” jockey Florent Geroux said. “I set up right behind the pace, took hold, and let her just take me to the wire. I never didn’t think I was on the winner.”

The win runs Monomoy Girl’s win streak to four races during a three-year-old campaign that began with wins in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) and Ashland Stakes (G1). Trainer Brad Cox conditions the horse at his Churchill Downs string and said after the Acorn that the Tapizar filly would continue to take her show on the road.

“I thought she was training just as good for this race as she was into the Oaks,” Cox said. “And we do have to train her – that’s what we breeze her every week. She’s happy to go fast, and we’re happy to watch her go fast.

“I don’t think we’ll shorten her up any less than this trip,” Cox said of the one-mile Acorn. “Our preliminary plan is the (July 22) Coaching Club American Oaks ([G1] at Saratoga), the (September 22) Cotillion ([G1] at Parx) and the (November 3) Breeders’ Cup (Distaff [G1]) at home (Churchill Downs). We’ve had this mapped out since last winter, and she’s hit every mark so far.”

Talk Veuve to Me ran on well to maintain second, 4 1/4 lengths clear of Gio Game. Moonshine Memories faded to fourth while last year’s champion two-year-old filly and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner (G1), Caledonia Road, was fifth. Starcloud completed the order of finish.

“She ran great,” said Chris McCarron of Team Valor International, co-owner of Talk Veuve to Me along with McKay Brisset. “She was second to a really nice filly today.”

Monomoy Girl now boasts an 8-7-1-0, $1,495,750 career mark. She is campaigned by Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stable LLC, the Elkstone Group LLC and Bethlehem Stable LLC, and is the first registered stakes winner out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette, who is half-sister to Grade 3 victor Drum Major.