Front-Running Mr. Monomoy Rolls in First Division of Risen Star

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Mr. Monomoy led from start to finish in a 2 1/2-length victory in the first division of the Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Mr. Monomoy, a half-brother to champion Monomoy Girl, vaulted to the top of the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with a victory in the first division of the $400,000, Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford at Fair Grounds Feb. 15 .

The 3-year-old Palace Malice colt picked up 50 points from Saturday’s win under jockey Florent Geroux. Also the third-place finisher of the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes Jan. 18, he’s collected a total of 52 points, which is typically enough to secure a spot in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard

“He galloped out well last time, and I thought he could get this distance. I thought the draw today gave him the opportunity to break and clear if he wanted, and obviously he was willing to do it,” trainer Brad Cox said. “Florent put him in a great spot, and he stepped up to the plate today and proved that he belongs. We have a long way to go, but we expect him to come out in good order.

“It will probably be one more race before the Derby — what race that will be we don’t know. We just have to see how he comes out of it and see what other horses run in the next few weeks and see how everything unfolds, but we’re really happy with him.”

Mr. Monomoy, 7.50-1, broke from post nine of 11 and hustled to the front. The bay colt set quarter-mile fractions of :24.22, :48.57, and 1:12.85 through three-quarters of a mile, and his one-length advantage over Blackberry Wine was shortened to a head at the three-eighths pole.

Racing mostly in the two path, Mr. Monomoy took off again down the Fair Grounds stretch, ran a mile in 1:37.65, and crossed the finish line 2 1/2 lengths in front.

The final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.43 on a fast track.

“We had a really good start out of the gate. I was thinking about stalking, but when I saw no one was really going for the lead, I took advantage of it and went for it,” Geroux said. “It worked really nicely for me. It was a good distance, and there was no real competition up front. Last time, he did have a bad trip, but it was partly the break. He’s still a new horse and learning everything, but he showed me a lot today. I’m really happy with him.”

Enforceable, the Lecomte Stakes winner, rallied from last under Julien Leparoux to finish second by a half-length over Silver State. Farmington Road was fourth.

“[Enforceable] ran a great race. There wasn’t really any pace, and the winner was on the lead easy,” Leparoux said. “My horse responded when I asked and put in a really good run down the lane. I’m happy with how he ran and look forward to having him go longer in distance.”

Mr. Monomoy was bred in Kentucky by FPF and Highfield Ranch out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette.

As a weanling, he was purchased by Fir Grove Farm for $60,000 from the Gainesway consignment to the 2017 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The following year, Monomoy Girl won the Longines Kentucky Oaks and Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff on her way to being named champion 3-year-old filly. In 2019, Mandore International Agency spent $202,230 to secure Mr. Monomoy from the Mocklershill consignment to the Arqana May Breeze-Up Sale.

Mr. Monomoy has two wins, one second, and one third from five starts and earnings of $327,162. He is campaigned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, and Doheny Racing Stable.

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