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Monmouth Park: Zucchini Flower, Ruthenia get stakes wins
By Mike Farrell
OCEANPORT, N.J. – Zucchini Flower and Ruthenia won the $75,000 distaff stakes Sunday before a crowd of 23,317 at Monmouth Park.
Zucchini Flower pulled away to a 3 3/4-length victory in the Monmouth Beach Stakes for fillies and mares on the main track. The 4-year-old filly, trained by Graham Motion, had a golden trip, sitting third as Daydreamin Gracie and Winiliscious dueled for the lead.
Winiliscious, a $7,500 claim by trainer and co-owner Chuck Spina last year, won the speed duel and had a narrow lead at the top of the lane in a bid for her first stakes victory. But there was no holding off Zucchini Flower, who was full of run through the lane.
“She really likes to be outside,” winning jockey Jeremy Rose said. “She relaxed much better. She doesn’t get intimidated. Then she just switched leads and took off.”
Zucchini Flower improved to 4 for 15 with her second stakes victory. She took the Limit Stakes at Aqueduct in March 2012.
Zucchini Flower paid $9.60 to win after running the one mile and 70 yards in 1:39.83 on a fast track. Winiliscious was second, followed by Daydreamin Gracie, Final Escrow, and Clarinda, the 6-5 favorite.
The Cash for Clunkers comeback will have to wait. She was a late scratch from the Monmouth Beach after dumping jockey Elvis Trujillo in the post parade and running off. She then flipped over the railing in the six-furlong chute, bounced up, and ran off down the ramp. She was finally corralled, apparently unharmed, in the barn area.
The runner-up in last year’s Grade 1 Ogden Phipps, Cash for Clunkers has not run since hitting the gate and finishing last to divisional champion Royal Delta in Belmont’s Beldame Invitational last September.
Switching to the turf for the Miss Liberty Stakes, Ruthenia got her first win since last year’s Grade 3 Violet Stakes here last May.
Jockey Joe Bravo and trainer Christophe Clement, winners last weekend in the Grade 3 Red Bank with Za Approval, were again a potent force in a Monmouth grass stakes.
Ruthenia rallied from eighth to beat Namaskara by a length, denying the Rose-Motion team a sweep of both stakes. Street Secret and Dinner’s Out dead-heated for third.
The 3-2 favorite, Ruthenia paid $5 to win. The time was 1:42.08 for the 1 1/16 miles on a course rated “good.”
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