06/26/2006 12:00AM

Monmouth: 'Gottcha' wires Coronado's Quest

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Gottcha Gold got the early jump under jockey Chuckie Lopez and cruised to a seven-length victory in the $65,000 Coronado's Quest Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., Gottcha Gold ($33.20) ran the mile and 70 yards in 1:39.63 in his stakes debut.

Praying for Cash, the 8-5 favorite, finished second. Stretching out beyond seven furlongs for the first time, Praying for Cash lunged awkwardly from the gate and lost early position.

Hesanoldsalt was third.

The Coronado's Quest kicks off Monmouth's road to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 6. The next stop is the Grade 3, $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes on July 15.