Trainer Christophe Clement kept his perfect record at Monmouth intact Saturday with a little help from the stewards as Virginia Kraft Payson’s Rutherienne was placed first after finishing second to Red Birkin in the $150,000 Boiling Spring Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.
Clement has now won with all five horses he has sent to run at Monmouth, but Saturday’s was fortunate. Red Birkin, an invader from Canada, finished first by a neck over the 4-5 choice Rutherienne after 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40 3/5. However, the stewards ruled that Red Birkin, ridden by Jose Lezcano, had interfered with the pacesetter Sharp Susan, the third-place finisher, in the stretch run. They disqualified Red Birkin and placed her third behind Rutherienne and Sharp Susan. Eddie Castro, rider of Sharp Susan, had claimed foul against both horses who finished in front of him.
Rutherienne, ridden by Joe Bravo, paid $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10 in the field of six. Sharp Susan, the 5-2 second choice, returned $3 and $2.10 and completed the $9.20 exacta. Red Birkin, third choice at 7-2, paid $2.10 to show.
This was the fifth victory in six lifetime starts for Rutherienne, a daughter of Pulpit who won the Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIIT) in a dead-heat at Belmont last out.
Sharp Susan set most of the pace into the stretch (:24 1/5, :47 4/5, 1:10 4/5), when Red Birkin moved through along the rail to take command. Rutherienne closed on the outside at the same time, and Sharp Susan was in tight quarters when Red Birkin drifted out.
Bravo, who rode Rutherienne for the first time, said, “I don’t know what Jose (Lezcano) was doing or looking at. I had a ton of horse and she was closing down the outside with a full head of steam. Nothing against Lezcano, he’s a good rider, but I guess in the heat of competition he messed up today.”
Dinner Break, Full of Ideas and More Than a Feelin completed the order. Christies Treasure scratched.