08/12/2016 1:20PM

Lucy N Ethel scratched from Blue Sparkler, favoritism up for grabs

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Barbara D. Livingston
Undefeated Lucy N Ethel has been scratched from the Blue Sparkler as the Monmouth Park stewards continue to investigate who trains her.

The complexion of Sunday's Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park changed Saturday when Lucy N Ethel, who would have been among the favorites in the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares, was scratched as the track's stewards continued to investigate who trains the horse.

Lucy N Ethel is perfect in three starts. She won a Pennsylvania-bred maiden race at Parx last November, an open allowance at Parx in December, and then was shipped to Gulfstream Park, where she won the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes on Jan. 2. She was trained by Ramon Preciado in all of those starts.

Preciado is currently training under a stay following his appeal of a 270-day suspension he was given in Pennsylvania for clenbuterol positives. According to Bob Kulina, the president of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth, Preciado’s trainer’s license in New Jersey is under review. He has not started a horse at the Monmouth meet.

On Thursday, Lucy N Ethel was entered in the Blue Sparkler with Chloe Bradley named as her trainer. Last winter in Florida, Bradley started horses who were previously trained by Preciado while he was serving a suspension. Bradley has a career record of 3 for 13.

According to Mike Anifantis, the director of racing at Monmouth, Bradley was granted a New Jersey trainer’s license in the spring after taking a test.

Lucy N Ethel has had four workouts at Parx, where Preciado is stabled, in preparation for her comeback.

With Lucy N Ethel out of the wide-open race, favoritism could go to Nite Delite, Forest Funds, or Brandy's Girl.

Blue Sparkler, Race 9

Key Contenders

Nite Delite, by War Chant
Last 3 Beyers: 85-84-71

◗ After racing on the West Coast, she scored a front-running second-level optional-claiming win at Laurel Park in her debut for trainer Linda Rice.

Forest Funds, by Forestry
Last 3 Beyers: 86-85-83

◗ In two starts since being transferred to Monmouth’s leading trainer, Jorge Navarro, she has missed by a nose in the Honey Bee Stakes at Monmouth and has won the Jill Jellison Memorial at Suffolk Downs.

Brandy’s Girl, by Posse
Last 3 Beyers: 68-87-88

◗ She set blistering fractions going six furlongs on the main track in the Miss Woodford at Monmouth but tired to finish fifth. A repeat of her two prior turf-sprint wins makes her a major player here.

Everything Lovely, by Pollard’s Vision
Last 3 Beyers: 83-76-86

◗ She ran a strong race in her second start of the year to finish third, beaten a half-length, in the Honey Bee Stakes to Indian Spendor and Forest Funds. She may take a step forward in her third race of the season.

◗ She is one of three entrants in the field trained by Kathleen DeMasi.

Joya Real, by Eddington
Last 3 Beyers: 80-91-87

◗ Also trained by DeMasi, her late bid came up a little short when she finished fifth as the 4-5 favorite in the Honey Bee. She is 3 for 6 in turf sprints at Monmouth.

◗ She should get a good pace setup in this race.

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