April 15, 2024

Society gets tested, remains perfect in Monomoy Girl

Society faced a stiff challenge from Miss Yearwood in the stretch of Saturday’s $160,000 Monomoy Girl Overnight S. at Churchill Downs, but she turned back her rival to score by a half-length in her stakes and two-turn debut. Now unbeaten from three starts, the Peter E. Blum homebred daughter of Gun Runner is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Tyler Gaffalione picked up the mount on the three-year-old filly, and Society sprinted to the lead at the break in the 1 1/16-mile race, establishing moderate splits in :24.61 and :49.37. Miss Yearwood, who rated in last early, offered a nice turn of foot on the far turn and advanced to even terms in upper stretch.

Society dug in gamely when confronted and finally got the upperhand in the latter stages, stopping the teletimer in 1:45.05.

“She was very determined on the front end,” Gaffalione said. “When (Miss Yearwood) drew alongside she fought hard the entire way.”

An odds-on favorite, Society was favored for the first time in her career. She was overlooked at 27-1 when capturing her first outing, a maiden special weight at Keeneland last October for previous trainer Wayne Mackey. Transferred to Asmsusen over the winter, Society came back from a 6 1/2-length layoff to comfortably defeat entry-level allowance foes on the May 6 Kentucky Oaks undercard at nearly 4-1.

She’s yet to meet proven competition, and upcoming tests will tell us more about where Society fits from a class perspective, but the sophomore miss appears to be making fine progress.

“She was very impressive and we’re really proud of her to run like that trying two turns for the first time,” assistant trainer Scott Blasi said. “She ran well here in her last start sprinting and showed today she could handle the added distance. We’ll see what’s next but we’re very pleased with her effort today.”

Miss Yearwood, the 2-1 second choice, wound up about two lengths better than Tap Dancing Lady in third, and Glacken’s Cause was fourth. Imogene Malvina was pulled up on the backstretch and vanned off.

Kentucky-bred Society is the first stakes winner from the Tapit mare Etiquette.