Saturday’s Pegasus Stakes brings
out a half-dozen hopefuls for the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on Sunday, July
31, including an interesting new name in Clarke Lane.
The colt by Giant’s Causeway
is trained by Justin Sallusto, who saddled Teaks North to win last Sunday’s
Monmouth Stakes (G3), and is owned in part by IEAH Stables, the folks who won
the 2008 Haskell with Big Brown.
Clarke Lane, a Kentucky-bred,
raced in England as a 2-year-old, and broke his maiden on turf at Haydock in
May of 2010. He returned to the U.S.
early this year, and made two starts in California.
He closed stoutly to be beaten a neck in his American debut at Santa Anita on
April 3, and last out overcame early trouble to finish third in the Alydar
Stakes at Hollywood
Park on May 8.
Nick Salusto, son of trainer
Justin, is one of the advisors for IEAH Stables, and thought Monmouth was the
right spot for Clarke Lane.
“It looked like he was a great
fit for the 3-year-old stakes series at Monmouth,” Nick Salusto said, “and
that’s why he’s here. The goal is the Haskell, of course.”
Clarke Lane impressed clockers
with his only work over the Monmouth track, when he breezed seven furlongs from
the gate in 1:27 flat last Saturday.
“He needed a work like that,”
Justin Salusto said. “He worked very well over the track, and he galloped out
strong. And he bounced right out of the work in great shape.
“I think this race could set
up for him with all that speed. He will be formidable in there.”
Elvis Trujillo gets the riding
call as Clarke Lane breaks from the rail in the mile and a sixteenth Pegasus.
The colt, who brought $190,000
at the Keeneland yearling sale in 2009, is owned by the partnership of Pegasus Holdings Group and IEAH Stables.