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Barn Notes

Kharafa Looks For Winning Monmouth Debut In Saturday's Elkwood

Posted Friday, Jul 3, 2015

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Kharafa makes his inaugural start at Monmouth Park against multiple stakes winners in Saturday’s $75,000 Elkwood Stakes going a mile over the turf.

            “He has been training well over the track,” said Tim A. Hills, who conditions the horse for Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch. “We’ve had him here for four years and yet this is his first start here at Monmouth.”

            The 6-year-old gelding by Kitalpha out of the King of Kings mare Exquisite Cassie last raced in the Kingston at Belmont Park where he battled close to the pace the entire way, but just missed in the end finishing second to multiple Grade 3 winner Lubash.

            “He has matured a lot with age,” said Hills. “He use to be a front runner early in his career, but he has learned to settle. He likes to sit close to the pace, but a few starts back, he came from far behind and just put his head down and finished strong. It all depends on the pace of the race whether or not he will sit closer to the lead.”

            Kharafa has worked four times since his near win in the Kingston all over a fast Monmouth Park main track. His most recent work came on June 27 where he went five furlongs in 1:03 1/5.

            Kharafa is one of seven stakes winners entered in the Elkwood: Mr. Online, Rose Brier, Decisive Moment, Mellow Fellow and Two Notch Road as well as Grade 1 winner Lochte.

            “Paco (jockey Lopez) has ridden him before down in Gulfstream so he will know the right place to put him,” said Hills. “We are going to use this to prepare for the Oceanport on Haskell Day,”

            The Elkwood will be race 11 on Saturday’s Fourth of July 12-race card. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with first post at 12:50 p.m.


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