(Monomoy Girl / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

Editor’s Note:

I simply refer to her as “The Champ.”

One of the reasons, is that she is.

Monomoy Girl swept to the Eclipse Award championship in 2018 after a brilliant year of racing to the winner’s circle in both the G1 KY Oaks early in the year and the G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at the end of the campaign.

But one of the other reasons, is that she knows it, too.

The look in her eye shouts “Champ.”

The bend in her neck is true beauty.

The powerful shoulder meets the round, muscular hip — ripple for ripple; dimple for dimple; dapple for dapple.

Which brings us to the real reason I call Monomoy Girl by the moniker “The Champ.”

It is the look in her eye when a horse comes to her neck.

It is the bend in her neck when the real running begins.

It is the power in her shoulder and the motor in her hip that clicks it up another notch; another notch and yet another notch when it is time to win rather than run second.

It is what separates the good from the great.

And, make no mistake about it, my good friends.

Monomoy Girl is great.

Truly great.

Just the other day, I had the chance to chat with her trainer Brad Cox on the phone. At the end of the conversation, I asked “The Man” behind “The Gal,” and “The Champ” how “The Champ” was doing.

He laughed and said that she was right in the barn stall next to him at Keeneland.

“I really can’t wait until we get her all the way back and she’s ready to run again,” Cox said. “That will be something special for me.”

Something special.

That is Monomoy Girl, who missed all of 2019 due to some nagging tweets and pains. She is something special.

That is what Monomoy Girl’s return would be for all of us racing rans. Something special to watch and see.

That is what makes us all wake in the morning and wait for the sun to rise on a better tomorrow. Something special.

Here’s a look at “The Champ” from the eyes and lens of Holly M. Smith:

(Monomoy Girl makes her way to the winner’s circle after capturing the 2018 KY Oaks)

(A morning beauty)

(The eye of a champion)

(Gallops are fun; jogs are OK; but running is her thing)