Monomoy Girl, one of the dominant fillies of the 21st century, was retired from racing Wednesday after she suffered a fracture during a routine Tuesday gallop.

Monomoy Girl-retirement
After Monomoy Girl sold for a record $9.5 million last November, she went back to training for her 6-year-old campaign. She was retired after fracturing a small bone in her leg during a routine Tuesday gallop. (Image: Fasig-Tipton)

Trainer Brad Cox said the 6-year-old mare and seven-time Grade 1 winner went out for a gallop at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning. When she came back, Cox and his team discovered she wasn’t walking right. They took her for X-rays and found what he said was a non-displaced fracture of the sesamoid bone in her right front leg.

“Obviously, we’re very disappointed. She’s walking sound today and it’s not anything that will require surgery. It’s just unfortunate that it will end her racing career,” Cox said in a statement.

And as racing careers go, Monomoy Girl’s was one for the books. She retires with $4,776,818 in career earnings. That’s the fifth-highest total by a dirt female in racing history, putting Monomoy Girl in the same rarefied air as Midnight Bisou, Zenyatta, Beholder, and Royal Delta.

No finish worse than second in 17 starts

Monomoy Girl’s record made that company easy to understand. She never missed the exacta in 17 career starts, racking up 14 wins and three seconds. This included two Breeders’ Cup Distaffs (2018 and 2020) and the 2018 Kentucky Oaks. It also included Grade 1s at Belmont Park (the 2018 Acorn Stakes) and Saratoga (2018 American Oaks).

During her 3-year-old campaign in 2018, Monomoy Girl won four consecutive Grade 1s. That season culminated in her first Breeders’ Cup Distaff victory and first of two Eclipse Awards, this one, for Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.

Injuries wiped out her 4-year-old campaign. At 5, she returned with a vengeance, winning all four of her starts, including two Grade 1s, the La Troienne, and her bookend Breeders’ Cup Distaff. That brought her bookend Eclipse Award, this one for Champion Older Female.

Monomoy Girl already holds one sales record

The day after she won that Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Monomoy Girl sold for a world-record $9.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. Winning bidder Spendthrift Farm sent her back to Cox for her 6-year-old season, then sold microshares through new partner MyRacehorse.

She rewarded those buyers with a season-opening victory in the Grade 3 Bayakoa at Oaklawn Park.

The only times Monomoy Girl missed the winner’s circle came in the 2017 Golden Rod at the end of her 2-year-old season, the 2018 Cotillion at Parx, and her last race, the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park. There, she finished second by a nose to Letruska. En route, Monomoy Girl clocked a 102 Beyer Speed Figure, the second-fastest of her career.

Now, it’s off to Spendthrift Farm, where a broodmare career awaits. Immediate breeding plans are undetermined.

“I’m going to miss having her around and not being able to put a saddle on her again, but Monomoy Girl owes us nothing,” Cox said. “She’s an unbelievable mare and will always hold a special place in my heart as our first (Kentucky) Oaks winner, Breeders’ Cup winner, and champion. She will go to Spendthrift to start her breeding career and I’m sure she’ll be an awesome mom.”

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