Her Way

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The commotion of a bustling crowd at Saratoga Race Course didn’t faze Monomoy Girl. She strolled down the horsepath to the paddock late Saturday morning as if she knew everyone was looking at her.

Coolers rolling on the pavement, alcohol already flowing, music playing, and of course people yelling out, “Is that Monomoy Girl?”

“A 10-year-old kid could have led her over there and schooled her,” said trainer Brad Cox after the Kentucky Oaks winner returned to the barn. “That’s just her. We’re just going through the routine of schooling because we have before she runs every time, but she doesn’t even really need it. It’s weird, there’s time when she looks at things. If she doesn’t like something, she definitely lets you know about it.”

For starters, she doesn’t like to lose.

The 4-5 morning line favorite for Sunday’s 1 1/8-mile Coaching Club American Oaks has won seven of her eight starts and earned $1,495,750. A neck loss is the only blemish on her resume and the daughter of Tapizar is 4-for-4 this year.

“She’s really laid back. She’s pretty easy to deal with. She’s definitely a very classy filly,” Cox’s 17-year-old son Blake said early Saturday morning just before leading Monomoy Girl off the main track, across Union Avenue, and through the rows of barns back to her stall next to the office in the Cox barn on the Oklahoma Training Track side.

The chestnut filly started her career in early September at Indiana Grand, where she won a 1-mile turf maiden and then won a turf allowance at Churchill Downs later in the month.

Then came the headlines. 

“She had always breezed good on the dirt, but she was 2-for-2 on the turf,” Blake Cox said. “Two weeks before the Rags To Riches (Stakes) she breezed phenomenal on the dirt, she kicked this filly’s butt who we thought was a good horse.”

To read the rest of the Coaching Club American Oaks preview, download Sunday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by EasyFix Stable Solutions.