Starstruck won the Matchmaker Stakes on July 27 at Monmouth.

Starstruck won the Matchmaker Stakes on July 27 at Monmouth.

Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Starstruck Heads Cast in Monmouth's Violet

Full gate awaits Galileo filly in a tough turf test Aug. 23 the Jersey Shore.

Calumet Farm's Starstruck, a handy winner last time out in the WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park on the Haskell Day card, headlines the Jersey Shore track's Aug. 23 feature, the $100,000 Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT).

The 5-year-old chestnut mare won't have it easy in the nine-furlong event as she'll be challenged by a full gate of older fillies and mares.

Starstruck has an affinity for the turf at Monmouth, having taken last year's Matchmaker as well, and a stellar pedigree, to boot. An Irish-bred daughter of Galileo, the hottest stallion on the planet with 31 stakes winners this year (183 career added-money winners), Starstruck is out of Agnetha, champion 3-year-old filly of 2002 in England and Ireland.

Earlier this year Starstruck placed in a pair of turf stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, then disappointed in the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Pimlico and the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park for trainer Larry Jones.

The runner-up in the Matchmaker was Robert Evans' Irish Mission, a 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway Misty Mission, by Miswaki. At 3 the Canadian-bred won the classic Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine after capturing the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser and running second in the Queen's Plate.

Don't count on Evans being at Monmouth; his Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist  will be one of the favorites in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) the same afternoon in upstate New York.

Sycamore Racing's Nellie Cashman figures to be a danger if she goes. The 4-year-old filly by Mineshaft  is cross-entered in the 1 1/16-mile Ballston Spa Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course.

There are strong contenders galore in the Violet, including Pin Oak Stable's Overheard (by Macho Uno ), winner of the Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT) last out at Woodbine; Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) runner-up Triple Arch, a non-factor last time out on the dirt in the Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) for Crossed Sabres Farm; and Zanim Meahjohn's Rusty Slipper, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid  who won the Little Silver Stakes over the local turf layout last May and was a good fourth in her 2014 bow in the June 21 Eatontown.

Entries: Violet S. (G3T)

Monmouth Park, Saturday, August 23, 2014, Race 11

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:59 PM (local)
41Lady Aspen (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEddie Castro116Todd A. Pletcher-
51ASilsita (FL)Keeneland Sales GraduateEddie Castro116Todd A. Pletcher-
12Primed for Passion (KY)Jose C. Ferrer116Jonathan E. Sheppard-
23Starstruck (IRE)Kerwin D. Clark123J. Larry Jones-
34Why Katherine (ON)Abel Castellano, Jr.116Kevin Attard-
65Green Wave Girl (MD)Victor Santiago116Ann W. Merryman-
76She's Not Lazy (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTrevor McCarthy116H. Graham Motion-
87Fasnacloich (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor R. Carrasco116Hamilton A. Smith-
98Rusty Slipper (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAlex Cintron116H. Graham Motion-
109Triple Arch (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateOrlando Bocachica116Marcus J. Vitali-
1110Overheard (KY)Eurico Rosa Da Silva123Malcolm Pierce-
1211Nellie Cashman (PA)Keeneland Sales GraduateForest Boyce116Francis Abbott, III-
1312Scampering (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePaco Lopez118Claude R. McGaughey III-
1413Irish Mission (ON)Julian Pimentel116Christophe Clement-
1514Brenda's Way (MD)Gabriel Saez116Damon R. Dilodovico-