October 23, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Roca Rojo drew off to a 3 1/4-length victory Sunday in the $200,000 Athenia Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf at Belmont Park.

The 4-year-old from Ireland trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano kicked home from sixth at the top of the stretch to secure her first stakes victory. It was her fifth win in six career starts, improving her Belmont record to 3 for 3.

''It was impressive the way she did it today,'' Castellano said. ''Everything worked out perfect. We were able to sit off the pace and the ground was a little soft, and she liked that.''

Castellano, who turned 39 on Sunday, celebrated with three victories.

The time was 1:43.20 for 1 1/16 miles over the course rated soft. Roca Rojo paid $10.20, $5 and $3.70.

Stormy Victoria also finished strongly, coming from ninth to get second. She returned $6.70 and $5.

Mexican Gold, also trained by Brown, got third and paid $3.70 to show.

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