(The great and grand Monomoy Girl getting ready to leave Churchill Downs and head off to Spendthrift Farm / All Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Editor’s Note:

Today was the day.

The day that trainer Brad Cox and his team of great horse people had to say their final goodbyes and bid farewell to one of the best “LADIES” to ever grace a racetrack at any time and anywhere.

The day that you knew would someday come, and, yet, a day you could never prepare for and get mentally ready to accept.

The day that you knew that the van would never return with the big mare staring back with those glowing eyes of love for both you and the sight of a racetrack in the future.

The day that you knew would pull at the heart and the tears.

The day that you knew would hurt both stomach and heart.

Today was the day that two-time Champion and many time favorite Monomoy Girl took the van home to Spendthrift Farm for a new future and a new career as a broodmare.

Today was that day.

And, of course, it was the day that our very own Holly M. Smith stood at the barn and waited for the old friends to give their goodbyes and the new peeps on the bus to take over.

Here’s a few of Holly’s looks through the lens, and, of course, a few tears of her own: