Sharp Azteca wins the Hardacre Mile Gulfstream Park Handicap

Sharp Azteca wins the Hardacre Mile Gulfstream Park Handicap

Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

Sharp Azteca, Classy Class Head Monmouth Cup

Sharp Azteca slated as the 4-5 morning-line favorite.

Coming off a game runner-up effort to Mor Spirit last month in the Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (G1), Sharp Azteca aims to find his way back to the winner's circle in the $100,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) July 30.

Trained by Monmouth Park's current leading trainer Jorge Navarro, the Freud  colt is slated to carry 5-7 pounds more than his four rivals in the 1 1/16-mile test. Gelfenstein Farm's runner has hit the board in 10 of his 12 career starts, and started this season with a 4 1/2-length score in the Hardacre Mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2).

Cheyenne Stables' Classy Class enters Sunday's test off a 2 3/4-length win in Monmouth's Salvator Mile Stakes (G3) over runner-up Just Call Kenny and fourth-place Donegal Moon, both entered in the Monmouth Cup. 

Donegal Moon and Scuba will both attempt to break their three-race losing skids. Donegal Racing's Donegal Moon's last win came in the Pegasus Stakes (G3) at Monmouth last year. 

DARRS, Inc.'s multiple graded stakes winner Scuba ran fourth after being blocked in the stretch of the Dominion Day Stakes (G3) at Woodbine July 1. The 6-year-old Tapit  gelding's last score was the 1 3/4-mile Marathon Stakes (G2) in November at Santa Anita Park and he finished second in last year's edition of the Monmouth Cup.

Later on the card, Mo' Green aims to pick up another grade 3 win this year in the $100,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. 

D. J. Stable's Uncle Mo  filly enters off a fifth-place run in the Obeah Stakes at Delaware Park June 10 and a third behind Terra Promessa and Molly Pitcher entrant Carrumba in the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) in May, both at 1 1/8 miles. One of her two wins this year came in the Top Flight Invitational Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack in April, where she traveled wide the entire race before edging clear by 3 1/2 lengths at the wire.

Given the 5-2 morning-line favoritism is Phipps Stable's Carrumba, who finished third last out in the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) June 17 at Churchill Downs. Having won or placed in 12 of her 14 starts, the last nine in graded company, the grade 1-placed Bernardini  mare's last victory came in the Top Flight Invitational in April 2016.

Entering Sunday's race off two back-to-back victories is Money'soncharlotte. George Hall's 5-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast  took the July 2 Lady's Secret Stakes at Monmouth, winning by three-quarters of a length over fellow Molly Pitcher challengers Pleasant Mine and Eskenformoney.

Looming a threat is Power of Snunner, winner of the Obeah Stakes last month. She has placed in two graded events this year. 

Entries: Monmouth Cup S. (G3)

Monmouth Park, Sunday, July 30, 2017, Race 3

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 12:54 PM (local)
11Classy Class (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAntonio A. Gallardo118Kiaran P. McLaughlin3/1
22Just Call Kenny (VA)Nik Juarez116Patrick B. McBurney6/1
33Donegal Moon (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano116Todd A. Pletcher8/1
44Sharp Azteca (KY)Paco Lopez123Jorge Navarro4/5
55Scuba (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat116Brendan P. Walsh9/2

Entries: Molly Pitcher S. (G3)

Monmouth Park, Sunday, July 30, 2017, Race 10

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 4:38 PM (local)
11Pleasant Mine (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoel Rosario116Anthony R. Margotta, Jr.6/1
22Carrumba (KY)Nik Juarez116Claude R. McGaughey III5/2
33Eskenformoney (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano116Todd A. Pletcher4/1
44Behrnik's Bank (PA)Eddie Castro116Enrique Arroyo8/1
55Mo' Green (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo118John C. Servis4/1
66Money'soncharlotte (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePaco Lopez118Kelly J. Breen5/1
77Miss Inclusive (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateUNKNOWN116John C. Servis20/1
88Power of Snunner (PA)Edwin Gonzalez118Timothy C. Kreiser9/2