Ashleyluvssugar Heads East for United Nations
July 03, 2015 10:32am
Ashleyluvssugar, winner of the 2015 San Luis Rey
Photo: Santa Anita/Benoit Photo

 Ashleyluvssugar ships in from California for his first try at a Grade 1 victory in Sunday’s Grade 1, $500,000 United Nations Stakes going a mile and three eighths on the turf. The U.N. is a Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re In event for the Turf division.

“He shipped in well and has been eating great,” said trainer Peter Eurton, who conditions the horse for Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing LLC. “He galloped nicely over the track and should be ready to go.”

The 4-year-old gelding by Game Plan out of the Urgent Request mare Ashley’s Folly shipped in to Monmouth Park late Wednesday night and is coming off back-to-back Grade 2 victories at Santa Anita in the San Luis Rey and Charles Whittingham, both in come from behind fashion. This will be his first race outside of California.

Ashleyluvssugar has worked four times since his half-length score in the Charles Whittingham on May 24. His latest came on June 28 where he went five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 over the fast Santa Anita main track.

“It’s going to be a really tough field,” said Eurton. “I’ll let Gary (jockey Stevens) guide him where he needs to be. A lot of the horses seem to like to come from off the pace, so we need to be in a good spot as we turn for home.”

A tough field indeed. Ashleyluvssugar has his work cut out for him going into the United Nations. He has to take down five Grade 1 winners including Champion Older Turf horse and Horse of the Year finalist Main Sequence, who won the U.N. last year. Chad Brown sends in the top two finishers from the Manhattan on the Belmont Stakes undercard; Slumber and Big Blue Kitten, the latter won the 2013 U.N. The other Grade 1 winners include Claude McGaughey III trainee Imagining, who won last year’s Grade 1 Man O’War, and Twilight Eclipse, who won this year’s Man O’War and finished second behind Main Sequence in last year’s U.N.

 The United Nations will be race 11 on Sunday’s 12-race card. It will be one of two graded stakes races run that day with the Grade 3 Salvator Mile to be run prior to the U.N. Both races will be televised on Fox Sports 1 starting at 4:30 p.m.Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post 12:50 p.m.





Kharafa makes his inaugural start at Monmouth Park against multiple stakes winners in Saturday’s $75,000 Elkwood Stakes going a mile over the turf.

“He has been training well over the track,” said Tim A. Hills, who conditions the horse for Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch. “We’ve had him here for four years and yet this is his first start here at Monmouth.”

The 6-year-old gelding by Kitalpha out of the King of Kings mare Exquisite Cassie last raced in the Kingston at Belmont Park where he battled close to the pace the entire way, but just missed in the end finishing second to multiple Grade 3 winner Lubash.

“He has matured a lot with age,” said Hills. “He use to be a front runner early in his career, but he has learned to settle. He likes to sit close to the pace, but a few starts back, he came from far behind and just put his head down and finished strong. It all depends on the pace of the race whether or not he will sit closer to the lead.”

Kharafa has worked four times since his near win in the Kingston all over a fast Monmouth Park main track. His most recent work came on June 27 where he went five furlongs in 1:03 1/5.

Kharafa is one of seven stakes winners entered in the Elkwood: Mr. Online, Rose Brier, Decisive Moment, Mellow Fellow and Two Notch Road as well as Grade 1 winner Lochte.

“Paco (jockey Lopez) has ridden him before down in Gulfstream so he will know the right place to put him,” said Hills. “We are going to use this to prepare for the Oceanport on Haskell Day,”

The Elkwood will be race 11 on Saturday’s Fourth of July 12-race card. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with first post at12:50 p.m.




Fourth of July weekend continues Saturday and Sunday at Monmouth Park with a full slate events scheduled.

On Saturday, Independence Day, Monmouth will offer a free Miller Lite Grandstand Pass with paid admission. Passes will be valid from July 5 to closing day Sept. 27.

Ten $100 vouchers will be raffled off on Saturday. Entry forms will be given out at all gates and must be filled out and dropped off at one of the two Welcome Centers for a chance to win.

On SundayMonmouth Park is throwing the ultimate backyard BBQ with the Red, White & Blue Party presented by Budweiser. The party includes different competitions including a game pit with corn hole and horseshoes, eating competitions and great prizes for the best red, white and blue outfits. All day long, there will Bud and Bud Light specials along with live music from After the Reign and Rachel Allyn. Arrive early to receive a free Monmouth Park beach tote while supplies last.

Also on Sunday is the $200 Monmouth Park/Woodbine Racetrack Handicapping Challenge with the top two finishers earning berths into the 2016 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship and the winner getting an entry in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

All military, police, fire, EMT in uniform or with I.D. will receive Free Grandstand or Clubhouse admission on Sunday as well.

Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with first post at 12:50 p.m. for the entire weekend.

Source: Monmouth Park


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