Mrs. Alec Head's Denomination came with a strong stretch rally to post a nose victory in the $150,000 Grade 3 Violet Stakes as Ponzi Scheme wired his foes to post a three-length win in the $75,000 Skip Away Stakes at Monmouth Park on Monday.
Trained by Christophe Clement, Denomination covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:41 4/5 and paid $4.20, $3 and $2.60 as the favorite in the field of seven fillies and mares. Unbridled Essence came with her run on the far outside to complete the $45.20 exacta and returned $8.20 and $3.80. It was another length back to La Reine Lionne, who paid $2.60 to show.
“Heading into the far turn, she gave me the sensation that all she needed was a hole and she was going to run for me,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “She was well within herself. I'm just really thankful for being on this horse today.”
The Violet victory was the second graded stakes win for Denomination this year. In March she took the Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs. From 21 lifetime starts, Denomination has a record of 6-4-3 and earnings of $429,301.
In the Skip Away Stakes, Ponzi Scheme took command right out of the gate, was challenged nearing the quarter pole by 1-9 favorite Christmas for Liam, but kicked away in the lane to pay $25.20, $10.60 and $2.60.
“My horse was training super,” said winning conditioner Juan Serey. “I told the jockey to see what happens at the break. We wound up in front and that was fine. I don't care who's in the race, when my horse is doing good, I know he'll be tough.”
Yummy with Butter rallied to complete the $135.20 exacta and paid $7.20 and $2.40. Christmas for Liam settled for the show, good for a $2.10 mutuel.
Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Ponzi Scheme now sports a record of 6-2-5 from 23 starts and career earnings of $178,780.
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