Ruthenia Storms Home to Take Violet Stakes

The Pulpit filly tracked a good pace and accelerated late to win Monmouth event.

Virginia Kraft Payson’s Ruthenia made the most of her Monmouth Park debut with a come-from-behind victory in the $100,000 Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 28 at the New Jersey racetrack (VIDEO).

Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche for trainer Christophe Clement, Ruthenia, who has only raced on turf in her nine starts, won her second stakes in the Violet. The 4-year-old Pulpit filly was bred in Kentucky by Payson Stud.

Favored Romacaca set the pace under no pressure on a firm course through fractions of :24.69 for an opening quarter-mile, :48.43 for a half-mile, and 1:11.29 for six furlongs. But the field bunched up on the far turn, and in the lane a rallying Pinch Pie appeared to have the race won.

Pinch Pie got past Unbridled Humor but couldn’t hold off Ruthenia, who saved ground and angled out behind Pinch Pie in the lane. Ruthenia won by a length, while Pinch Pie had a nose on Unbridled Humor. Romacaca faded to fourth.

The final time for 1 1/16 miles on the grass was 1:40.68 after a mile in 1:34.74.

The winner paid $22.60 in a seven-horse field. Here to Win was an early scratch.

“I thought they were going along pretty well up front and wasn’t really concerned about them coming back to me,” said Carmouche, who regularly rides at Parx Racing but is riding more at Monmouth this year. “I thought Jeremy Rose (aboard Pinch Pie) was getting the absolute perfect trip. I followed him and when he got free, I got free.

“From there it was just pointing her in the right direction and she did the rest. She’s pretty small, but she can run.”

Ruthenia last raced April 17 at Gulfstream Park, where she won an allowance/optional claiming race. Her other stakes win came in the Good Mood Stakes at Belmont Park in October 2010 in her second career start.

Ruthenia now has four wins, three seconds, and a third in 10 starts.