Two years after champion Monomoy Girl forged to victory in the 2018 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, her improving half-brother Mr. Monomoy is poised to seek a signature victory of his own under the historic Twin Spires.

With a gate-to-wire victory in the first division of the Risen Star (G2) on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds, Mr. Monomoy has cemented his status as a major player for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. After carving out a steady pace, Mr. Monomoy kicked clear to win the 1 1/8-mile race by 2 1/2 lengths, hardly a surprising outcome since his pedigree is geared toward running long on dirt.

Mr. Monomoy Pedigree
Curlin
Palace Malice
Palace Rumor
Mr. Monomoy
Henny Hugues
Drumette
Endless Parade

Mr. Monomoy’s sire, Palace Malice, needs no introduction to fans of the Triple Crown. A stoutly-bred son of Preakness (G1) winner and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Palace Malice exuded class and stamina during his productive racing career. Speedy enough to win the 1-mile Metropolitan Handicap (G1), but strong enough to claim the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (G1), Palace Malice got off to a sharp start at stud by siring 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Structor and P. G. Johnson S. winner Crystalle. From all appearances, Palace Malice is passing stamina on to his foals.

The bottom half of Mr. Monomoy’s pedigree is just as classy. While his dam, Drumette, was unremarkable as a racehorse (winning a single 5 1/2-furlong sprint at Turfway Park), she is quickly forging a reputation as a top-class broodmare. Racing fans won’t soon forget the stellar sophomore campaign put forth by Drumette’s daughter Monomoy Girl, whose six graded stakes triumphs in 2018 included the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), Acorn (G1), and Ashland (G1).

Drumette herself is a daughter of Henny Hughes, a Grade 1-winning sprinter who carried his speed far enough to finish second in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Due to his speedy nature, some folks might view Henny Hughes as an unlikely source of classic stamina, but his best foals have been quite capable running long. Four-time Eclipse champion Beholder won the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (G1), Moanin established a track record in the 1,600-meter February (G1) in Japan, Academic claimed the 1 3/8-mile Canadian Derby (G3), and Chitu won the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Derby (G3) before competing in the Kentucky Derby.

Mr. Monomoy wins the Risen Star 2020
Mr. Monomoy (Hodges Photography)

Daughters of Henny Hughes have likewise been passing on respectable doses of two-turn stamina. Drumette has led the charge by producing Monomoy Girl and Mr. Monomoy, but Henny Hughes has also been represented as a broodmare sire by the stakes winner Master Plan, who finished a close third in the 1 3/16-mile UAE Derby (G2), and by the Grade 2 winner Spectator, runner-up in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Anita Oaks (G1).

Mr. Monomoy still has plenty to prove if he’s going to land in the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle. But from a pedigree perspective, there’s no reason to think he can’t negotiate 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May.