2016 Athenia Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the scene of the G3 Athenia Stakes on Sunday, October 23. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will be featured when they take to Belmont Park's turf track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's portion of the $200,000 purse.

A field of 10 plus one Main Track Only Entry will line up in the Athenia Stakes - race 8 on Belmont Park's Sunday schedule Post time is 4:46 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all 11 possible entries for this G3 stakes.

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2016 Athenia Stakes Race Preview at Belmont Park

Strike Charmer - Mark Hennig trained mare won the G3 Cardinal Handicap in November, 2014 and has been up and down since. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing fourth in the G1 Flower Bowl Stakes here October 8 after a terrific win over Lady Eli in the G2 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga August 27 at this distance with a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure, a fifth in the G1 Diana Stakes on that track July 23 and a disappointing eighth in the G1 Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park June 11. This year she also posted a 2 1/4 length nice win over Recepta in the G3 Beaugay Stakes May 14, a second in the minor Plenty of Grace Stakes at Aqueduct April 16 and a sixth in the G3 Marshua's River Stakes. Strike Charmer has six wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 22 career starts and hopes for her second graded stakes score in three starts Sunday - her third at this distance. Junior Alvarado gets the call from the rail.

Stormy Victoria - Christophe Clement trained French bred filly had two wins in eight career starts at home but failed to place in her last four - all stakes races. She returned from seven months away from the track and made her North American debut April 29 and promptly won an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park. Stormy Victoria has been good since - a third last time out in the G3 Noble Damsel Stakes on this track September 24 followed a second to Lady Lara in the minor De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga August 6, an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track July 3 and a close fifth in her only other graded stakes action to date - the G2 Nassau Stakes at Woodbine May 29. She has been decent in her career and will be chasing her first stakes score on a track that she has won both career starts - from gate 10 Sunday. Joel Rosario rides.

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Sea Coast - Irish bred Christophe Clement trained mare won two of 12 starts at home before shipping and has been decent in seven races since. Last time out was a two length win in the minor Steve Pini Memorial at Suffolk Downs September 3 after a sixth in the G3 Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park and an OK second in the G3 Eatontown Stakes on that track June 25. Before that were four Allowance Optional Claiming races - a win at Monmouth Park in May, a fifth June 30 and consecutive runner-up finishes in 2015. Sea Coast has been competitive and will be after a second straight stakes win from gate 4 with John Velazquez in the saddle.

Mexican Gold - has seven career starts for trainer Chad Brown with three wins, a second and a third place finish. She started her career in France and posted some nice results - a win in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte in April, 2015 and a second in the minor Prix de Saint-Cyr in October, 2015 being the best results. She was out of racing for nearly a year and returned September 4 to an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Saratoga - her North American debut. Mexican Gold has participated in some pretty big races and fared well. She looks to re-establish herself from post 7 with Irad Ortiz in the reins.

Roca Rojo - Irish bred Chad Brown trained filly has won four of her five career starts. She won her first two starts at home and debuted in North America with an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track June 30. She followed that with a fourth in her only stakes action to date - in the minor Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes in August and another Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out also on this track September 15. Roca Rojo has been impressive in her career so far and will be after a first stakes score from post 3. Javier Castellano has the mount.

My Sweet Girl - has four wins, a second and four third place finishes in 18 career starts for trainer Barclay Tagg. She enters off a fourth in the G3 Noble Damsel Stakes here September 24, a fifth in the minor Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga August 6, a good win in the minor Perfect Sting Stakes here July 2, a fourth in the minor Miss Liberty Stakes at Monmouth May 29, an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track May 6 and a seventh in her only other graded stakes action to date - the G3 Orchid Stakes at Gulfstream in April. My Sweet Girl has won two of her last five starts but has failed to place in her last two overall. She will be after a first graded stakes victory from post 5 Sunday with Manuel Franco aboard.

All in Fun - has been just Ok in her 14 race career for trainer Shug McGaughey - four wins and a third place finish. Last time out was a fourth after being DQ'd from second in the G3 Violet Stakes at Monmouth Park September 10 which followed two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores - the last coming on this track August 17. Her only other graded stakes action resulted in a fifth in the G2 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga July 24. All in Fun has been inconsistent and will be chasing her first stakes score from post 9. Jose Ortiz has the mount.

Okana - British bred Carlos Laffon-Parias trained filly makes her North American debut Sunday after six career starts produced two wins and a second place finish. Last time out was a respectable second in the Group 2 Premio Elena E Sergio Cumani in Italy September 25 which followed a fourth in the Group 3 Prix de la Porte Maillot in France and off-the-board finishes in two other stakes races in France. She won the minor Prix Ronde de Nuit before that in her second career start. Okana has been OK in her career and will be after a career-defining win from gate 2 Sunday. Luis Saez gets the call.

Means Well - has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 20 career starts for trainer Alan Goldberg. She enters having only placed in two of her last seven starts overall - both Allowance Optional Claiming scores with the last coming last time out at Delaware Park September 28. She has failed to hit the board in all seven stakes starts over that span. Means Well hasn't been racing well but hopes to change all of that around from gate 6 with Antonio Gallardo scheduled to ride.

Sparkle Factor - Irish bred mare has three wins, two seconds and six third place finishes in 16 career starts for trainer LeRoy Jolley. She was OK at home and has placed in four of five starts in North America including three straight third place finishes in Allowance races. Last time out was a Claiming score at Saratoga August 29 which followed a disappointing seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track in June. Sparkle Factor makes her graded stakes debut in so-so form and will depart from gate 8 with Eric Cancel in the reins.

La Inesperada - Main Track Only Entry has placed in 18 of 22 career starts - six wins, six seconds and six third place finishes. She may make her graded stakes debut Sunday having placed in her last 12 starts overall - five wins, three seconds and four thirds. She has won two straight - an Allowance Optional Claiming here September 30 and a Claiming at Saratoga and before that were four straight third place finishes. She has been in every race the last 16 months.

2016 Athenia Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 8 on Belmont Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 4:46 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Strike Charmer 5-2 Junior Alvarado Mark Hennig
2 Okana (GB) 6-1 Luis Saez Carlos Laffon-Parias
3 Roca Rojo (IRE) 7-2 Javier Castellano Chad Brown
4 Sea Coast (IRE) 12-1 John Velazquez Christophe Clement
5 My Sweet Girl 15-1 Manuel Franco Barclay Tagg
6 Means Well 20-1 Antonio Gallardo Alan Goldberg
7 Mexican Gold 5-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad Brown
8 Sparkle Factor (IRE) 50-1 Eric Cancel LeRoy Jolley
9 All in Fun 6-1 Jose Ortiz Claude McGaughey III
10 Stormy Victoria (FR) 8-1 Joel Rosario Christophe Clement
11 La Inesperada 2-1 Javier Castellano Rudy Rodriguez

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