‘A Race You Want To Win’: Paolucci Seeking Deal To Enter Sharp Azteca In Pegasus

Loooch Racing Stables’ Ron Paolucci is seeking to work out a deal to lease Sharp Azteca with the intent to start the brilliant Grade 1 stakes winner in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27.

Paolucci, who is already pointing War Story (and possibly Game Over) toward the second running of the world’s richest race, has had ongoing discussions with Sharp Azteca’s owner Ivan Rodriguez.

“The last couple days I’ve been trying to work a deal with Ivan, who owns Sharp Azteca, to see if we can get him into the spot that I bought,” Paolucci said.

A deal that would give the brilliant Sharp Azteca a spot in the Pegasus World Cup starting gate could be imminent.

“I think if a deal with Sharp Azteca comes about it will come about in the next day or two,” Paolucci said.

Sharp Azteca, who captured the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) in February, is coming off a dazzling 5 ½-length triumph in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct Nov. 12. Trained by Jorge Navarro, who also trains War Story and Game Over, Sharp Azteca finished second in a photo finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Del Mar Nov. 3 after winning the Monmouth Cup (G3) at Monmouth Park and Kelso Handicap (G2) at Belmont. The son of Freud also finished second in the Met Mile (G1) at Belmont and the Godolphin Mile (G3) in Dubai last year.

Paolucci said he has his reasons for pursuing a deal to lease Sharp Azteca.

“Sixteen million reasons,” Paolucci said, ‘and the prestige that would go with winning the race. I try to compete at the highest level, but I don’t always have the highest money to be able to compete at that level. When you get an opportunity like that with a War Story and a Game Over, and maybe you can rent a horse and try to get a horse in the spot, it’s a race you want to win. Everybody’s watching the race.”

Sharp Azteca, as well as War Story, breezed at Gulfstream Park West Sunday morning. Sharp Azteca breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 under Javier Castellano with a strong gallop out.

Sharp Azteca work: http://www.xbtv.com/video/recent/sharp-azteca-worked-5-furlongs-in-100-20-at-gulfstream-park-west-on-january-7th-2018/

“It looked like to me he got stronger as he went. Javier was trying to pull him up a little on the backside and he wanted to keep going.” Paolucci said. “It’s a great sign if you’re going a mile and an eighth.”

            War Story, who finished fifth in last year’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational, breezed an easy 1:03.40. The son of Northern Afleet most recently finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar Nov. 4.

The post ‘A Race You Want To Win’: Paolucci Seeking Deal To Enter Sharp Azteca In Pegasus appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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