Princess Violet won the Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 4.<br><a target="blank" href="http://photos.bloodhorse.com/AtTheRaces-1/At-the-Races-2015/i-47KkdBM">Order This Photo</a>

Princess Violet won the Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 4.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Princess Violet Tops Ruffian Stakes Entrants

Madison Stakes winner appears to be one to beat in Ruffian Stakes.

Barry K. Schwartz's Princess Violet appears the one to beat in the $250,000 Ruffian Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park May 9.

Fresh off of a victory in the Madison Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 4, Princess Violet has now won five of 10 starts, with four second-place finishes and career earnings of $662,810.

NOVAK: Princess Violet Makes the Grade in Madison

The victory in the Madison Stakes was her first grade I win. She rallied from fifth to prevail by a half-length.

In the mile Ruffian, the 4-year-old will break from post 4 under jockey Jose Ortiz. Carrying 123 pounds she is the co-high weight in the field with House Rules. Bred in New York at Stonewall Farm, Princess Violet won four of eight starts in 2014, taking the Empire Distaff Handicap Oct. 18 at Belmont, and also finished second in the June 28 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont.

She began this year with a second-place finish in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park Feb. 14 before taking the Madison.

House Rules has enjoyed a strong season so far, winning three of four starts in 2015, including victories in the Feb. 21 Rampart Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park and the April 11 Top Flight Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack. In the Top Flight, House Rules was sent off as the 2-5 favorite and rallied three-wide before prevailing by a half-length in the 1 1/8-mile contest.

Since the Top Flight, the 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor  has breezed twice on Belmont's training track for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. House Rules, who was bred in Kentucky by El Catorce and Winstar Farm, drew post 2 and will be ridden by Javier Castellano in the six-horse Ruffian.

Godolphin Racing will start the entry of Wedding Toast and Via Strata in the Ruffian for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Via Strata has won all three of her career starts, but will be trying stakes company for the first time, while Wedding Toast has won five of nine career starts, including a fourth-place finish in the Madison.

Both horses were bred in Kentucky by Darley. Via Strata will break from post 5 under Irad Ortiz Jr. and Wedding Toast will break from post 6 under Jose Lezcano.

Entries: Ruffian S. (G2)

Belmont Park, Saturday, May 09, 2015, Race 4

  • Grade II
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $250,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 2:53 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
51Via Strata (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.119Kiaran P. McLaughlin-
61AWedding Toast (KY)Jose Lezcano117Kiaran P. McLaughlin-
12Shayjolie (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateCornelio H. Velasquez121Gary C. Contessa-
23House Rules (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano123James A. Jerkens-
34Macha (NY)Keeneland Sales GraduateManuel Franco115Rudy R. Rodriguez-
45Princess Violet (NY)Jose L. Ortiz123Linda Rice-