05/28/2012 4:55PM

Monmouth Park: Ruthenia upsets Violet Stakes at 10-1


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Ruthenia stormed home to pull a 10-1 upset in the Grade 3, $103,000 Violet Stakes on Sunday at Monmouth Park. The Violet, a longtime fixture at the Meadowlands Racetrack, capped a big weekend for trainer Christophe Clement on the Jersey Shore. He also won the Lamplighter Stakes on Saturday with Malibu Way and is 4 for 6 at the meet.

Ruthenia and jockey Kendrick Carmouche settled in sixth while Romacaca, the 7-5 favorite, led the way through moderate early fractions of 24.69 and 48.43. Unbridled Humor applied pressure to the leader entering the final turn. She took over in midstretch but was no match as Ruthenia roared by to win by one length. Pinch Pie nosed out Unbridled Humor for second money.

"Christophe gave me a call this morning and told me she’s a small filly and there was a lot of speed in the race," Carmouche said. "He said have her within striking distance and get through the holes, whenever one opened."

Carmouche found room in the lane, angling to the far outside. Ruthenia had the best finishing kick as the 4-year-old homebred for Virginia Kraft Payson earned her first graded stakes victory.

The time was 1:40.68 for the 1 1/16 miles on the firm course. Ruthenia paid $22.60 to win.

Romacaca was fourth followed by My Redbyrd, Whipsaw City, and In the Rough.

Maple Forest turned in another sharp effort at Monmouth, posting a front-running victory in the $60,000 Red Cross Stakes for filly and mare sprinters. The 4-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher is now 2-2-0 in four starts on the Jersey Shore, all stakes races.

Maple Forest also captured the Dearly Precious last year. Her second-place finishes came in the Sorority as a 2-year-old and the Just Smashing last season.

Joe Bravo gunned the even-money favorite right to the lead and they hummed along through fractions of 21.95 and 44.53.

"It’s great when the gates open and one jump later you are a length in front of the field," Bravo said. "She’s fast and tries hard every time."

Maple Forest faced only one challenger in the lane, My Sunshine Gal, who narrowed the final margin to three quarters of a length. Maple Forest paid $4 to win, covering the six furlongs in 1:09.73.

Enchante was third.

Racing resumes Friday as Monmouth switches to a Friday through Sunday schedule.