Mrs. Alec Head’s Denomination, a grade III winner earlier this season, takes on six filly and mare rivals in the $150,000 Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Memorial Day at Monmouth Park.
Trained by Christophe Clement, Denomination was top-weighted at 120 for the 1 1/16-mile Violet, which is the headliner on Monmouth’s 12-race card. The 5-year-old daughter of Smart Strike—Dreamlike, by Storm Cat won the Hillsborough (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs in March for her only stakes win in the United States. The bay mare failed in the Doubledogdare (gr. III) on the Keeneland Polytrack on April 22 in her last start, but moves back to turf for this one, where she has won five times in 20 starts.
Denomination was a two-time group stakes winner in France before being shipped to the U.S. in the summer of 2009. Joe Bravo picks up the mount for Clement.
Denomination's biggest threat could come from Capitol Hill Thoroughbreds and Herb Oster’s Miss Blakely, a stakes winner last out. The Joe Orseno trainee scored the April 16 South Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park going 7 1/2 furlongs, one race after beginning her season with a sixth-place finish in the Suwannee River (gr. IIIT). Paco Lopez was named to ride.
Another threat is Hidden Brooke Farm and Paul Pompa Jr.’s La Reine Lionne, who comes into the event riding a three-race win streak. It started in a $50,000 claimer at Tampa in February, was followed by a starter handicap at Gulfstream, and most recently the daughter of Leroidesanimaux won an allowance contest at Keeneland by more than three lengths going 1 1/16 miles. Chad Brown has assigned Jose Valdivia Jr. to ride the 4-year-old filly.
Eric Fein’s C C's Pal was entered for main-track only after her win at Monmouth on May 15—the Monmouth Beach Stakes. The 4-year-old filly has won four of 19 starts overall and is stakes-placed seven times. Lopez was also named to ride.
$150,000 Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 11, 5:33 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. State Treasure (KY), A S Arroyo, 116, J C Servis
2. La Reine Lionne (KY), J Valdivia Jr., 116, C C Brown
3. Unbridled Essence (FL), C H Marquez Jr., 116, G D Sacco
4. C C's Pal (FL) (MTO), P Lopez, 118, D S Ryan
5. Miss Blakely (ON), P Lopez, 116 J F Orseno
6. Denomination (KY), J Bravo, 120, C Clement
7. Marquet Madness (FL), E Trujillo, 116, M Hartmann
8. Choice Play (KY), P Fragoso, 116, P L Biancone