The Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) is almost always a key post-classic test for 3-year-olds. This year, the race took on a potentially added significance, offering Preakness Stakes (gr. I) victor Shackleford or the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) captor Ruler On Ice—both of whom had the sidelined Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hero Animal Kingdom behind them in their classic wins—the opportunity to secure a place at the head of the sophomore class. Both Shackleford and Ruler On Ice emerged from the event with credit, Shackleford delivering his usual brave on-the-pace effort and Ruler On Ice, an upset winner of the Belmont, finishing strongly to prove he genuinely belongs at this level. However, neither Shackleford nor Ruler On Ice were victorious, as West Coast invader Coil came from last to first to deny Shackleford by a neck, with Ruler On Ice 2¼ lengths back in third.