05/30/2011 7:04PM

Monmouth Park: Denomination nips Unbridled Essence in Violet

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Denomination edged Unbridled Essence by a nose Monday in the $150,000 Violet Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf at Monmouth Park.

Joe Bravo was aboard for trainer Christophe Clement as Denomination ($4.20) got her sixth career win. It was the second Grade 3 win of the season for the 5-year-old mare, to go along with her victory in the Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs.

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Marquet Madness set a slow pace in the 1 1/16-mile race and was still comfortably in front with a furlong to go. Then the serious running began.

Unbridled Essence, winner of the Grade 3 Matchmaker here last summer, came widest of all and appeared to have the best momentum.
Denomination, right to her inside, dug in for the sprint to the wire.

“Down the lane, she just showed she’s all heart,” Bravo said. “She just rebroke when that horse on the outside came running. She just out-gutted her.”

La Reine Lionne, the 8-5 second choice, got third. The time was 1:41.92 on the firm course.

* Ponzi Scheme paid off to the tune of $25.20 in the $75,000 Skip Away Stakes.

The 4-year-old gelding broke alertly and led all the way, completing the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.04 with Elvis Trujillo aboard for trainer Juan Serey. It was third win for Ponzi Scheme since Serey claimed him here last summer for $20,000.

Christmas for Liam, the 1-10 favorite, took a shot at Ponzi Scheme on the far turn but never nudged past. He wound up third as another longshot, Yummy With Butter at 9-1, came on to get second, three lengths behind the winner.