Athenia Stakes 2013 Contenders at Belmont Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will play host to the Grade 3 Athenia Stakes this Saturday, October 12. A purse of $150,000 will be on the line for fillies and mares three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/16 miles on Belmont Park's turf track.

The Athenia has drawn a field of seven entries plus three Main Track Only competitors for race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Post time is 5:06 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.

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2013 Athenia Stakes Race Favorite Entries

Pianist - Chad Brown trained filly has a couple straight wins last summer including the minor Given Stakes at Belmont Park in September. She followed that with a pair of fourths - the Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View Stakes at Belmont Park and the Stardusk Stakes behind Channel Lady in November. She started 2013 with a good score in an Allowance Optional Claiming on February 7 and has been up and down in graded stakes action since. Last time out was a good second in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga August 24 after an OK third in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx July 2 and her best career result - a win in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap over Hard Not to Like at Pimlico in May. She has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts. Pianist is assigned top weight of 123 pounds and will break from post 5 with Jose Ortiz riding for the first time.

Samitar - Irish filly Samitar has finished in the money is seven of nine starts on North American soil - a pair of fourths this year being her only off-the-board finishes - the Grade 1 Diana Stakes July 27 and the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap in May. She has won a pair of minor stakes races in her last three starts including the Speed Boat Stakes last time out at Saratoga September 1 and also has a pair of seconds in graded stakes action this year - the Grade 2 Honey Fox in March and the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April. Samitar has six wins, four seconds and three thirds in her 19 race career and looks decent for trainer Chad Brown ahead of the Athenia. Javier Castellano has the mount from post 3 on Samitar.

Athenia Stakes 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Assateague - Michael Matz trainee had a two race win streak before a fourth last time out in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park September 14 - the last coming in the minor De La Rose Stakes over Ruthenia at Saratoga August 3. Her only other graded stakes action resulted in another fourth in the Grade 2 Raven Run in October. She has four wins, a second and two third place finishes in 13 career starts and enters this weekend in so-so form. She figures to push the pace along with Pianist - she showed that form in the Noble Damsel before fading after being bumped. Hopes are that she finishes strong this week unlike last time out.

Ruthenia - won two straight in the spring of last year - the Grade 3 Violet Stakes on May 28 and an Allowance Optional Claiming in April at Gulfstream. Ruthenia has since finished fourth in three straight stakes races - the 2012 Eatontown Handicap in June, the 2012 Grade 2 Ballston Spa in August and in the last year's Athenia Stakes in October. In 2013 she has five starts - a sixth in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes in May, a win in the minor Miss Liberty Stakes at Monmouth Park May 26, a third in the 2013 Grade 3 Eatontown, a second in the minor De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga August 3 and a disappointing sixth last time out in the minor Speed Boat Stakes September 1. She has placed in three starts in 2013 with one win. Jose Lezcano has the call on Ruthenia, who has just one win in eight starts since the Violet.

Embarr - Susan Cooney pupil won the Dahlia Stakes at Pimlico in April in her first start in 5 1/2 months and followed that with a disappointing sixth in the Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes May 18. Since then she has failed to place in six starts - a fourth in the Grade 3 All Along Stakes, a third in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap, a fourth in the minor Ed La Rose Stakes August 3, a seventh in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa August 24 and a fifth last time out in the minor Lady Baltimore Stakes at Laurel Park September 21. She looked great in the summer of 2012 with a three race win streak including a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming and the minor Brookmeade Stakes in July but has failed to regain that form since. She is the defending runner-up in this race at 24-1 odds and will be looking to snap a six race losing streak Saturday.

Athenia Stakes betting at Belmont Park with

Abaco - had a pair of sixths to start her career and had a four race win streak including three Allowance Optional Claiming scores before her stakes debut - a good second in the Grade 3 Suwannee Stakes in February at Gulfstream. Since that result she has three starts - a fifth in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, a fourth in the minor Speed Boat Stakes at Saratoga September 1 and a second last time out to Strathnaver in the minor Lady Baltimore Stakes at Laurel Park September 15. Joel Rosario, off since Aug. 23 with a foot injury, is named to ride Abaco who will be seeking a first stakes win.

My Perfect Ten - has four starts in 2013 with a win last time out in the minor Ellis Park Turf Stakes (her first stakes win) and a trio of thirds - the best coming in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs in June. She has raced in graded stakes company once before - an eighth in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen Stakes at Woodbine in August 2011. My Perfect Ten has five wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 18 career starts.

Royal Lahaina - Main Track Only Entry raced in stakes company for the first time April 20 in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap and finished fifth for her worst effort in a while. Before that effort was three straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Aqueduct - the last being March 29 and the others coming February 15 and December 14. Last time out was a second to Summer Applause in the minor Lady's Secret Stakes after a fifth in the Grade 3 Shuvee Stakes July 20 and a nice score in the minor Mariensky Stakes at Belmont Park June 7. She has six wins, five seconds and two third place finishes in her 23 career starts.

Lady Cohiba - Main Track Only Chris Clemente filly has four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 11 career starts. She won the Summer Guest Stakes at Saratoga last August 17 and didn't taste victory again until last time out - the minor Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga September 2. Her only graded stakes action came in November - a fourth in the Grade 1 Gazelle but she has placed in five of six overall. She will be in tough against some quality runners and enters in so-so form.

Moment in Dixie - Main Track Only entry has three wins and four seconds in 10 career starts for trainer James Toner and is coming off a second in the minor Jazzy Stakes here September 25 after a ninth in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga August 23. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score - her only win since June 2012. She has a win and two seconds in four starts this year.

2013 Athenia Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:06 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Embarr P. Morales S. Cooney
2 My Perfect Ten J. Alvarado S. Lyster
3 Samitar (GB) J. Castellano C. Brown
4 Abaco J. Rosario C. McGaughey III
5 Pianist J. Ortiz C. Brown
6 Ruthenia J. Lezcano C. Clement
7 Assateague L. Saez M. Matz
8 Royal Lahaina (MTO) J. Ortiz T. Pletcher
9 Lady Cohiba (MTO) J. Alvarado C. Clement
10 Moment in Dixie (MTO) unknown jockey J. Toner

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