Seventeen years after first dipping his toe into the world of thoroughbred horseracing, a prominent Delaware lawyer’s stables has produced the 3-Year-Old Filly of the Year.
The 2018 Eclipse Awards honored Monomoy Girl, owned by Stuart Grant and his wife Suzanne – and the Filly just lost out to Triple Crown winner Justify as horse of the year, an understandable and impressive second place.
Monomoy Girl is only the third filly to win both the Breeder’s Cup Distaff and the Kentucky Oaks in the same year. The Filly of the Year and trainer Brad Cox won five Grade 1 races together in 2018 — a feat that’s almost unheard of.
In an interview with TSD, Grant recalled buying his first horse at Delaware Park. “His name was Mount Moran, we claimed the horse prior to the race.” Grant now owns over 80 horses, 50 of them on the track.
“I had always loved horses, and Suzanne was in support of it,” said Grant. “And sort of the worst thing that could have happened, happened — our horse won. Not the best business strategy, but we started to imagine what we could make on two, three or four horses. We started increasing the size of the stable. As the stable grew I realized I didn’t know enough about horses, and I started taking pre-vet courses at UD.
Grant says that Monomoy Girl (whose name comes from an island just off the coast of Cape Cod) is a special horse, with the personality and agility of an athlete.
“We knew Monomoy Girl has been sound and she has tremendous heart. She’s very versatile. She has won races by being in front all the way, she has won by stalking – sitting 3rd or 4th and coming out in the last 1/8th of the course to win — and she’s won races by coming up from dead last. She has won on multiple surfaces – dirt and turf/grass. She has won in sloppy conditions and perfect conditions. Whatever you throw at her, she can deal with her situations.”
“Monomoy Girl has raw talent, but it takes an incredible team to get to this level,” said Grant. “2018 was an inflection point in the sport for me. I made a strategic decision to trim my racing stock and focus on higher quality horses like Monomoy Girl through partnerships with friends like Michael Dubb, Michael Caruso and Sol Kumin. At the same time, through my home-breds and my training and breeding farms, I can still provide opportunities to up-and-coming talent within the sport.”
In addition to Monomoy Girl’s almost perfect season for trainer Brad Cox – she won 6 of 7 starts in 2018, with only a disqualification marring her perfect record – Grant’s racing portfolio also had some other significant wins throughout the 2018 season.
Thewayiam (FR) scored a hat trick of impressive Graded Stakes wins at Gulfstream Park and went on to be runner-up in the $1,000,000 G1 Belmont Oaks for trainer Graham Motion. Also at Gulfstream Park, Stormy Victoria (FR) won the South Beach Stakes on Pegasus World Cup Day for trainer Christophe Clement.
Grant, a major donor to the University of Delaware athletic and veterinary programs, said the adventure in horseracing has been rewarding.
“We’ve made friends along the way. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve been able to give back through the UD Equine program and internships. We provide shadowing experiences with vets. Last year we had such success with our internships program,” said Grant.
Grant’s I Could Do Great Things Foundation, each year offers University of Delaware students a paid internship at The Elkstone Group’s training facility, Camden Training Center. This 10-week opportunity provides a hands-on look at the world of thoroughbred racehorses, and Grant hopes the experience will help nurture the next generation of veterinarians and turf professionals.
Grant retired from the law firm he founded, Grant & Eisenhofer, in September 2018 and he currently serves as an advisor in the financial and litigation arena.