Ruthenia has a high bar to clear if she wants to duplicate the success
achieved by her full-sister, but an impressive debut at Belmont Park
is a pretty good start.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Despite her pedigree, the daughter of Pulpit was dismissed at 20-1 on
Monday in a one-mile event on Belmont’s Widener turf course, and the
full-sister to the 2005 Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks winner Rutherienne made her doubters
pay by drawing off under Alan Garcia’s hand encouragement to win by 3 ½
Ruthenia, who covered the distance in 1:37.40 and ran the final quarter
mile in a snappy 23.34 seconds, becomes the latest horse to join the New York
Watch, which profiles up-and-comers that have recently cleared the maiden ranks
at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga. Her page is located at http://www.nyra.com/nywatch/Ruthenia.html.
“There was no reason for her to have been a long price,” trainer
Christophe Clement said of Ruthenia, who races
for her breeder, Virginia Kraft Payson. “Good for the guys who picked
her! She had trained well and had shown a good turn of foot in the morning.
Even though she is smaller, she moved well.”
Clement and Payson were also the team behind Rutherienne, who won 10
stakes in her career, including the Sugar Plum Time, Grade 3 Sands Point, Grade
3 Lake George, and Grade 3 Noble Damsel Handicap in New York. Off the board
just four times in 20 starts, Rutherienne earned nearly $1.3 million.
“Rutherienne was also small,” said Clement when asked to
compare Ruthenia to her older sister.
“She was sometimes difficult to train, as some of the Pulpits are.”
Under consideration for Ruthenia’s second start is the Good Mood
Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Belmont
on closing day, October 31.
“There’s a stakes on the last weekend at Belmont, but it comes up quick,” said
Clement. “We’ll see how she comes out of this.”
Ruthenia is out of Ruthian,
who won the 2001 Firecracker Handicap, a listed stakes at Mountaineer, for
Payson. In addition to Rutherienne and Ruthenia,
Ruthian has produced Big Wig, a stakes-placed runner who has earned $147,151 to