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Breeders' Cup 2017

Belmont Park: Pebbles Lures Eleven

Elusive Pearl, Ruthenia and Divalarious, the top three finishers from the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, will reconvene in Monday's Columbus Day feature, the $100,000 Pebbles at a mile on the turf.

Trained by Michael Trombetta, Elusive Pearl came from just off the pace for a 1 ¾-length victory in the Riskaverse, her first start on the grass. The 3-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly drew post position 5 and was tabbed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the Pebbles, for which she will gain the services of Ramon Dominguez.

Ruthenia, winner of the Good Mood overnight stakes on Belmont's inner turf last year, enters off two second-place finishes: her late charge from last in the Riskaverse and a three-quarter-length loss to My Redbyrd in the Hattie Moseley.

"You know the filly well, she ran two good races in Saratoga, she looks well, she's trained well," reported trainer Christophe Clement. "She's a little bit gone in her coat, we had to clip her yesterday. She looks pretty good, she obviously does not look as well as when she had a summer coat."

Regular rider Alana Garcia is aboard Ruthenia, 7-2 on the morning line, from post position 4.

Divalarious, trained by Chad Brown, will be making her second straight stakes appearance in the Pebbles, having finished well to gain third, 2 ¾ lengths back, in the Riskaverse. Javier Castellano will ride the Distorted Humor filly, 6-1 on the morning line, from post position 8.

Hessonite, who defeated males in the New York Stallion Series at the Spa on August 11, tries open company for the second time on Monday. Third in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park in June, the Freud filly was scratched out of the September 25 John Hettinger when it came off the turf.

"I was disappointed that I didn't get to run her in the Hettinger when it came off the grass," said trainer David Donk. "I would have had to run against Gitchee Goomie, but I looked forward to it.

"The Pebbles will be a good test for her," he added. "It's going to give me a little line on her for next year. I don't have any doubt she'll be one of the better New York-breds next year. It will give me a little line on how aggressive our thought process can get. She has a pretty decent future, and maybe we'll see a little more of that on Monday."

Alex Solis rides Hessonite, 12-1 on the morning line, from post position 9.

Completing the field, from the rail out, are One Last Dance (8-1), Master Shade (20-1), Embarr (30-1), Immaculate Cat (12-1), My Redbyrd (10-1), Shatoosh (15-1), and Arch Support (4-1).

 

 

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