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Athenia: Denomination Beats Unbridled Humor

Denomination collected her third Grade 3 victory of 2011 on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, taking command in the stretch to win the $100,000 Athenia by 2 ¾ lengths over favored Unbridled Humor.

As Stormy Dixie led the field of seven fillies and mares through an opening quarter in 23.81 seconds and a half-mile in 48.35, Denomination loped along towards the back of the pack. Swung four wide turning for home, she closed steadily under jockey Joe Bravo to collar Unbridled Humor with a sixteenth to go and edged clear for the win. Her final time for 1 1/16 miles over turf rated "good" was 1:44.17.

"Anytime you ride for Chris Clement, you know you are very live," said Bravo. "This filly really just showed her true colors and accelerated down the lane."

It was the third Athenia victory for trainer Christophe Clement, who took the 2009 running with Belle Allure and the 1993 edition with Trampoli.

"She ran a great race," Clement said of Denomination. "She belongs to Mrs. Head, who is married to Alec Head, who is one of my mentors. It's a wonderful story and I'm absolutely delighted. They've been great people to all my family. She will probably go to the November Fasig-Tipton sale [November 6 in Lexington, Ky.]. You couldn't do much better advertising than just to win today."

Denomination, who won the Grade 3 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs in March, was given time off following her victory in Monmouth Park's Grade 3 Violet on May 30. The 5-year-old Smart Strike mare was third and eighth in two other Grade 3 starts this winter and spring and now boasts a record of 7-4-3 from 22 starts with $488,884 in earnings for owner Ghislaine Head.

Sent off as the 9-2 third choice, Denomination returned $11 for a $2 win wager.

Longshot Countess Lemonade completed the trifecta and was followed home by Thai Haku, Nefertiti, Thundering Emilia and Stormy Dixie.


 

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