Local favorites Pants On Fire and Ruler On Ice had their final workouts at Monmouth Park today between the fifth and sixth races. With jockeys Elvis Trujillo and Jose Valdivia wearing the silks of owner George Hall, the horses left the paddock and headed to the half-mile pole for their four furlong breezes.
As the Kelly Breen trained duo was getting saddled in the paddock, “Fire & Ice” pin back buttons in the pink and orange colors of the owners were given out to fans.
As “Fire” and “Ice” began their works, Pants On Fire jumped a length ahead on the rail but Ruler On Ice quickly caught up. Side by side the pair breezed the first quarter in :23 3/5 and hit the wire in :47 3/5. A photo revealed Pants On Fire a nose in front at the finish line.
The pair was welcomed back from their exercise by the applause of the Jersey Shore crowd. “We’re the hometown team,” Breen said. “It’s nice to have so many people rooting for them.”
Breen was very happy with the exercise, “Absolutely perfect, I wanted them to go just under :48. They’re both coming off wins and I just want to keep them sharp. They looked good coming back, both had lots of energy. They’ll gallop up to the race now. Just take it easy.”
Jockey Elvis Trujillo, who is taking the place of the injured Rosie Napravnik on Pants On Fire, said, “He went really well. Nice and easy. Looks like he’s ready to go.”
Regular rider Jose Valdivia Jr. was also impressed with Belmont winner Ruler On Ice. “He went great,” Valdivia said. “Ready to rock and roll.”
The post position draw for Sunday’s Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell Invitational Press Conference and Race Draw will take place Thursday, July 28, at noon ET. I will be live on TWITTER , tweeting the post positions as they are drawn and I will share comments from the connections of all of the horses. Make sure you follow @AndyScoggin so that you can get all the Haskell information live. You can also see my handicapping tips at AndyScoggin in NJ.
ABC’s of the Monmouth Hall of Champions -Today Majestic Light – Majestic Light started 31 times going 11-5-5 while earning $650,158 for owner Ogden Mills Phipps. Majestic Light won the 1976 Monmouth Invitational, now known as the Haskell, in stakes record time of 1:47 that still stands. He can back the next year to win the Amory Haskell Handicap.