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Afleet Again at Home for Haskell

Afleet Again, who will take on the toughest assignment of his career when he meets the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners in the $1 million IZOD Haskell Invitational (G1) on Sunday, Aug. 1, is the only horse in the field who has been using Monmouth as his home base.

Trainer Butch Reid has watched his gray colt finish third in the Spend a Buck Stakes on May 23, and second in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes on June 19, and feels his horse can deliver a top performance in the Haskell if the pace scenario is right.

“He’s been running well at Monmouth,” Reid said. “But in both of those stakes, the pace was way too slow for him to close like I know he can. In both races, they went the half in :49 and change and the six furlongs in 1:14 or so.

“If he gets a good pace in the Haskell, and I think he will, I think he’ll run his best race.”
Afleet Again, from the first crop of Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex, became a graded stakes winner in April at Aqueduct when he took the Withers (G3). He’s been training at Monmouth since just before the meet started, and has kept up a steady beat in his morning breezes.

The colt will have another Monmouth connection for the mile and an eighth Haskell in Joe Bravo, who rode for the first time in the Pegasus when they were beaten less than two lengths by the very promising Afleet Express, also from the first crop of Afleet Alex.

This running of the Haskell will be exceptionally strong, as it is expected to draw the horses who ran one-two in both the Kentucky Derby (Super Saver and Ice Box) and Preakness Stakes (Lookin at Lucky and First Dude). The others expected for Monmouth’s signature event include Trappe Shot, winner of the Long Branch Stakes, and Uptowncharlybrown, who has a Monmouth connection through his late trainer, Alan Seewald.



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