08/04/2005 11:00PM

Spotlight looks sharp off last

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Spotlight, here winning the Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga last year, comes to the Matchmaker after a neck loss in the Eatontown Handicap. Trained by Christophe Clement, she will have Jerry Bailey riding Sunday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park has an international flavor, with two Europeans among the contenders, one by way of Canada.

The 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares also awards stallion seasons to the first three finishers, with Northern Afleet, Afleet Alex's sire, among the prospective stallions.

The English-bred Spotlight will be one of the solid favorites, following her miss by only a neck in Monmouth's Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap. Trained by Christophe Clement, has a record of 2-1-1 in five U.S. starts.

Jerry Bailey replaces Joe Bravo on the 4-year-old Spotlight. Bailey had ridden her in Florida and New York, and Bravo is sidelined with a broken collarbone.

Noble Stella continues the international theme. The filly was bred in Germany, raced extensively in Italy, and now resides in Roger Attfield's Woodbine barn.

Attfield shipped Noble Stella and Palladio to Monmouth for Sunday's card. Palladio, the Ohio Derby winner, will run in the $1 million Haskell Invitational.

Noble Stella won her first North American race last time out in Woodbine's Grade 3 Dance Smartly Handicap.

The key to victory, according to Attfield, was getting a course with some give.

"She had run on some very firm ground," Attfield said. "Since that race, she has trained very, very well."

might find favorable course conditions, as thunderstorms rolled through Monmouth on Friday afternoon.

, the Dance Smartly runner-up, will also make the trip down from Canada for trainer Darwin Banach. A 5-year-old mare, Classic Stamp will be making her first start away from Woodbine since running fifth in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap last November at Churchill Downs.

The New Jersey-bred Smart N Classy looks to duplicate her upset in the Eatontown. Trained by John Tammaro III, Smart N Classy got up by a nose for the biggest victory of her career.

Trainer Hamilton Smith sends out a pair: Topiary and Humoristic. The New Jersey Racing Commission gave Monmouth permission to run the horses as separate betting interests.

Topiary has a win over the Monmouth course this season. She captured an allowance race here in June and followed that with another allowance score at Colonial Downs.

She was a rallying fourth in the Grade 3 All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes at Colonial.

Stablemate Humoristic was second in the All Along, and the two 4-year-old fillies have identical drop-back styles. Humoristic is winless in three starts this year, all stakes.