Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Mr. Monomoy runs to his pedigree

November 17, 2019 09:43am
Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Mr. Monomoy runs to his pedigree
Photo: Coady Photography

Shuffled back at the start of his Keeneland debut, Mr. Monomoy went straight to the front on Saturday at Churchill Downs, then took them all the way in maiden special weight company in a performance fit for the 2020 Kentucky Derby Radar.

The 2-year-old half-brother to champion Monomoy Girl carved out fractions of 22.91 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 46.68 for the half. That put him a half length in front of pace pressing Prodigious Bay.

But there was no relenting in the stretch, as a son of Palace Malice with some familiar connections pulled away to prevail by 5 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:17.57.

After Mike Smith rode Mr. Monomoy to a closing fourth at first asking, Florent Geroux picked up the mount Saturday for trainer Brad Cox. Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables and Michael Dubb — two partners in Monomoy Girl — campaign this chestnut colt with Doheny Racing.

"It was a very strong effort and I think we’ll have a lot of fun with him in the future," Cox said.

By a Belmont Stakes winner and out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette, Mr. Monomoy showed a style Saturday similar to his sister, who won the 2018 Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff under the Twin Spires.

Mr. Monomoy figures to go longer as the Cox barn moves to Louisiana’s Fair Grounds toward the end of this month. There, a number of allowance races are in the condition book for non winners of 2, while a race like the Dec. 21 Sugar Bowl, a $75,000 stakes at 3/4 of a mile, could also serve as a springboard to the Derby trail.

Fair Grounds’ points-paying Derby preps will run at new distances in 2020 with the Lecomte (G3) lengthened to 1 1/16 miles from a mile and 70 yards; the Risen Star (G2) to 1 1/8 miles from 1 1/16; and the Louisiana Derby (G2) to 1 3/16 miles from 1 1/8.

"The elongated distances of the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby will help differentiate our races from the other Kentucky Derby preps,” Fair Grounds’ racing secretary, Scott Jones, said earlier this fall. “We consulted with key participants from recent years, and they were in favor of the slight alterations.”

Mr. Monomoy sold for $60,000 as a weanling in the 2017 Keeneland November sale. Kumin later found him in an overseas sale, placing a winning bid of $202,230.

“He’s by Palace Malice and has really taken to the dirt well as the pedigree suggested,” Cox said before Saturday’s race. “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.”


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About the Derby Radar

Back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, Horse Racing Nation's Derby Radar seeks to identify promising maiden, allowance and even stakes winners who could target points-paying preps down the line. We'll cover the buzz horses, of course, then using a systematic approach based on past years' Derby contenders identify other talented colts moving up the ladder.

Did we miss one? Email editor Jonathan Lintner ( if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.

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