Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables' champion Monomoy Girl breezed a half-mile in company in 49.30 seconds at 8:45 a.m. Saturday on a muddy Belmont Park main track under Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano in preparation for the Grade 2, $150,000 Ruffian, a one-turn mile, at Belmont on July 11. Trained by Brad Cox, the 5-year-old Tapizar mare worked in company with multiple stakes winner A Bit of Both through splits of 12.3, 24.4 and out in 1:02.1.Castellano said he enjoyed his cameo appearance aboard Monomoy Girl while filling in for regular pilot Florent Geroux, who will be at Belmont next weekend to ride the chestnut in the Ruffian. "Today it was a very straightforward work, a half-mile from the half-mile pole with another horse inside. I was outside tracking the other horse," said Castellano. "She handled the track well. Even at the beginning when we started galloping she was splashing nice and smooth in a good rhythm, good balance and good mind. These good types of horses, they do that." Monomoy Girl arrived at Belmont Park on Wednesday, alongside Grade 1 Met Mile contender Warrior's Charge, to prepare for her first graded race since capturing the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff in November 2018. That win capped an Eclipse Award-winning season for Monomoy Girl which included Grade 1 victories in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, Acorn at Belmont Park and the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. The talented filly crossed the wire first - a neck in front of Midnight Bisou - in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx, but was disqualified and placed second as the only blemish on her 3-year-old filly champion campaign.Monomoy Girl, who missed the entirety of her 4-year-old season, was sent to WinStar Farm last spring after a mild case of colic and suffered an injury to her hamstring last fall when preparing for a potential comeback. The champion chestnut returned to action on May 16 with a 2 3/4-length win in an optional-claiming tilt contested on a sloppy Churchill Downs main track, earning an 85 Beyer Speed Figure. Bred in Kentucky by FPF LLC and Highfield Ranch, Monomoy Girl is out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette. A $100,000 purchase at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, she boasts a record of 12-10-2-0 with purse earnings in excess of $3 million. The Grade 2 Ruffian is the final graded stakes of the 25-day Belmont spring/summer meet. Closing weekend will also include the $80,000 River Memories, a 1 1/2-mile stamina test on the turf for older fillies and mares, on Closing Day Sunday, July 12, before live racing shifts to Saratoga Race Course for the 40-day summer meet which runs from Thursday, July 16 through Labor Day, September 7.
"She handled the track well. Even at the beginning when we started galloping she was splashing nice and smooth in a good rhythm, good balance and good mind." @jjcjockey after Monomoy Girl's breeze for Ruffian (G2) this morning #BelmontParkJuly 4, 2020