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Strike The Bell Readies for Athenia

Trainer David Donk said Friday that Noble Damsel heroine Strike the Bell would run back in next Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Athenia and would turn in her final work for the race this weekend.


“She breezed a little bit last Sunday [October 3, Belmont training track, 3f in 38.49] so she’ll come back and probably breeze Sunday again and we’ll go for [the Athenia],” Donk said. “She’s doing well and obviously she runs well here.  The mile and a sixteenth here is still a semi one-turn race and some pace would obviously help. She’ll run on any kind of course and she’s done well out of her last race.”


Owned by Rising Star Stables, the 4-year-old Mizzen Mast filly is 2-1-0 from five starts this year and collected her first graded stakes win in the Noble Damsel. 


Maram, who finished seventh in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa after having finished fifth, beaten less than a length in the Grade 1 Diana, and Quiet Meadow, second as the beaten favorite in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel, are both under consideration for the Athenia, said trainer Chad Brown.


Both fillies will breeze Sunday, after which Brown said he would make a decision.


“We’ll run one of them,” said Brown. “They’re both doing well. I ran Maram back a little quickly in the Ballston Spa, and I kept her up at Saratoga in between the races. She’s always done very well here down at Belmont, her whole career, and I got her home here and she’s done well since.”


Expected to join them for the Athenia are Darjeeling, winner of a one-mile turf allowance at Belmont on September 16 while Eye of Taurus, winner of the Revidere at Monmouth on September 11, will likely head a trio emerging from that race with runner-up Giant Mover and fifth-place finisher Unbridled Essence expected as well. Also probable for the race are Miss Catalyst, Missit, Mary’s Follies, Scolara, and Way With Words. NYRA Stakes Coordinator Andrew Byrnes added that Gitchee Goomie, Miss World and Trix in the City were possible.




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