CALIFORNIA-BRED ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR SEEKS HAT TRICK IN SUNDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 CHARLES WHITTINGHAM STAKES AT 1 ½ MILES ON TURF

 

PLETCHER’S NEW YORK INVADER DIVINE OATH AND MANDELLA’S BRAZILIAN-BRED GANESH ALSO FIGURE PROMINENTLY

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (May 21, 2015)–Red hot Ashelyluvssugar heads a field of five 3-year-olds and up in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes, as the 4-year-old California-bred gelding by Game Plan bids for his second consecutive graded stakes win and his third overall win in a row.

Trained by Peter Eurton and owned by his breeders, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Ashelyluvssugar rallied from far off the pace under Gary Stevens to take the Grade II, 1 ½ miles turf San Luis Rey Stakes on March 21 and will hope to have a legitimate pace to run at in the Whittingham.

With Stevens set to ride back from the outside post position number five, “Ashley” seeks his sixth win from 11 starts as he tries to pad his current bankroll of $335,504.

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s multiple graded stakes winning Divine Oath ships west from Belmont Park where he finished a close fourth in the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Fort Marcy Stakes on May 2. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Broken Vow, Divine Oath has three graded stakes wins to his credit and all five of his career victories have come on turf. Owned by Let’s Go Stable, Divine Oath has earnings of $442,210 and will make his 13th career start in the Whittingham.

A Group I winner in Argentina, Brazilian-bred Ganesh showed marked improvement for Richard Mandella when second, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the Grade III, 1 ¼ miles turf Last Tycoon Stakes at Santa Anita on April 25–his second stateside start. Owned by Red Rafa Stud, Inc., 6-year-old Ganesh is 22-7-3-1 overall with earnings of $291,814.

The complete field for the Grade II Charles Whittingham Stakes, to be run as the third race on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Divine Oath, Rafael Bejarano, 121; Crucero, Kent Desormeaux, 119; Ganesh, Flavien Prat, 121; Going Somewhere, Mike Smith, 119, and Ashleyluvssugar, Gary Stevens, 124.

                First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.