Mona de Momma upsets the Humana Distaff.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Mona de Momma upsets the Humana Distaff.
Order This Photo

Anne M. Eberhardt

Mona de Momma Charges to Humana Win

Last year's winner and 2010 favorite, Informed Decision, finishes third.

Mona de Momma launched a late bid and charged through the slop on the outside to take the $336,900 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) May 1 at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 4-year-old daughter of Speightstown  held off the driving Pretty Prolific by three-quarters of a length. It was length farther back to the 2-1 favorite, last year’s Humana Distaff winner and champion female sprinter, Informed Decision, who altered course in the stretch and rallied from eighth at the furlong pole to get the show spot.

Informed Decision was only a nose in front of fourth-place finisher Free Flying Soul at the wire.

Sent off at odds of 8-1, Mona de Momma covered seven furlongs in 1:22.73 over a sloppy, sealed track in the eighth race on the Kentucky Derby day card. It was the second win in a row for the bay filly, who captured the April 10 Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park by a head over Free Flying Soul in her previous outing.

Warbling led the field through brisk fractions of :22.09 and :44.38 as Rosario had Mona de Momma in eighth place in the field of nine. Rosario swung Mona de Momma to the outside on the far turn and hit the top of the stretch seven-wide with only two horses beat. Warbling relinquished the lead at the eighth pole to Mona de Momma, who was immediately challenged by Free Flying Soul and then Pretty Prolific, who rallied between the two leaders.

“I’m always looking to be outside with her," Rosario said. "I don’t want to get stopped in traffic and all that. The whole way I wanted to stay outside.”

Bred in Kentucky by Kim Nardelli, Rodney Nardelli, R.C. Durr, and Dr. Michael Spirito, Mona de Momma is owned by Michael Talla and trained by John Sadler. Out of the Linkage mare Society Gal, Mona de Momma won for the fifth time in 11 lifetime starts. The victory was worth $200,523 and increased Mona de Momma’s earnings to $377,618.

“The filly has got a wonderful broodmare pedigree, loaded with stakes winners," Sadler noted. "For her to win a grade I means a lot."

Sent off as the fourth choice, Mona de Momma  paid $19.20, $8.80, and $5.60. Pretty Prolific returned $8.60 and $4.60, and Informed Decision, the 124-pound top weight, paid $3.20.

“It was a good race for her, though she had trouble handling the track," Leparoux said of the favorite. "She didn’t especially like it. And she had trouble on the turn. She didn’t like running it and I lost a lot of ground there. But when she straightened out, she ran hard. All in all, it was a good try.”

Free Flying Soul was followed by Warbling, Double Espresso, Cassidys Pride, Rated Fiesty and Dubai Majesty. Dr. Zic scratched.

Nardelli Sales, agent, consigned Mona de Momma to the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale, where Eisaman Equine purchased her for $100,000. The following year, Eisaman Equine, agent, sold Mona de Momma for $335,000 to Mayberry Farm at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training.