10/07/2011 3:51PM

Belmont: Ruthenia heads large Pebbles field on Columbus Day


Ruthenia won her career debut at Belmont last year on Columbus Day last year, beating Hungry Island.

Ruthenia hopes to discover the winner’s circle again this Columbus Day when she meets 10 other 3-year-old fillies in the $100,000 Pebbles Stakes. The Pebbles, run at a mile on the Widener turf, tops a 10-race holiday card at Belmont. The first four races are on dirt, the last six on turf.

Ruthenia, a full sister to the Grade 1 winner Rutherienne, won the first two races of her career, both at Belmont. She has lost her last four, though she finished second in a pair of one-mile stakes at Saratoga. Though Ruthenia did run well at Saratoga, Clement feels Belmont may be better for the filly because of the quieter atmosphere.

“She’s a little bit anxious, I can’t run her too often,’’ trainer Christophe Clement said. “Her last three races have been very good. She has not won, but she ran okay. I think she might have improved a little bit.’’

Ruthenia will break from post 4 under Alan Garcia.

Elusive Pearl and My Redbyrd, both of whom defeated Ruthenia in stakes at Saratoga, are also in the Pebbles. Elusive Pearl was quite impressive winning her turf debut in the Riskaverse at Saratoga. Though she loses John Velazquez to My Redbyrd, Elusive Pearl picks up Ramon Dominguez.

Others entered include One Last Dance, Master Shade, Embarr, Immaculate Cat, Divalarious, Hessonite, Shatoosh and Arch Support.

Roman Treasure eyes Raven Run

Roman Treasure, who won the Positive Gal Stakes by eight lengths here on Sept. 23, worked five furlongs in 1:01.46 Friday morning over Belmont Park’s training track. Roman Treasure is being pointed to the Grade 2, $250,000 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 22. That race will be her first try over a synthetic surface.

It’s an experiment,’’ trainer Mike Hushion said. “The bottom line is there’s not much else around. The alternative would be the undercard stake on Breeders’ Cup Day for $85,000 but it’s ungraded.’’

Roman Treasure finished third in the Grade 1 Test and Grade 3 Victory Ride at Saratoga.

Nicole H, who has not run since winning the Grade 2 Distaff at Aqueduct in April, worked four furlongs in 48.28 seconds over the training track. She is attempting to make it back to the races following a severe respiratory infection.

“She’s still three or four works away,’’ Hushion said.