Kelly Breen, who trains the equine forces of George and Lori
Hall, holds a pat hand one month out from the $1 million Haskell Invitational
(G1), centerpiece of Monmouth Park’s summer meeting.
Breen has four 3-year-olds in line to represent the Halls in
the mile and an eighth Haskell on July 31, with the prime candidates being
Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Ruler on Ice, and Pegasus Stakes (G3) and Louisiana
Derby (G2) winner Pants on Fire.
Breen also has a pair who are looking for their first stakes
victory in Galaxy Kat and Nacho Saint, both eligible for first-level allowance
“Nacho Saint and Galaxy Kat will both go in the Long Branch
(July 9),” Breen said. “Ruler on Ice worked a half-mile last Monday in :49 2/5
under wraps. Pants on Fire has been doing well since the Pegasus (June 18).”
The mile and a sixteenth Long Branch Stakes has always been
a key prep for the Haskell, with the first two finishers traditionally earning
invitations to the big show.
“No decision has been made yet on who will go in the
Haskell,” Breen said. “It’s really too early to say definitely.
“There’s still a month to go to the Haskell, and you never
know what will happen. Things change fast in racing,” Breen said.