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Just Call Kenny Begins Haskell Preparations

With just over two weeks before the 47th running of Monmouth Park’s summer centerpiece, the William Hill Haskell Invitational, the field is starting to shape up and trainers are beginning preparations. One of the anticipated runners in Monmouth’s crown jewel is the Pat McBurney-trained Just Call Kenny.

The William Hill Haskell will be only the fifth start in Just Call Kenny’s racing career. In his first four races Just Call Kenny has never finished worst than second, including a win in Gulfstream Park’s Spectacular Bid Stakes on Jan. 4, and a strong second place finish in the Long Branch Stakes, Monmouth’s final major prep race for the William Hill Haskell, in his last outing on July 5. In that race he stalked the pace and made a late stretch run to finish just a half length short of Irish You Well, another runner expected in Monmouth’s big race.

“Other than winning he ran a perfect race,” McBurney said. “It seemed like he rated for Julian (jockey Pimentel) for his first time on him. Not that he came back super tired or anything, but you have to figure he should be getting tired with it being his first try after the layoff and first time going that distance, but overall he handled it great. And knock on wood, he’s also been acting super after the race.”

A 3-year-old colt by Jump Start out of the Green Dancer mare Green Jeans, Just Call Kenny has already earned $112,820 in his short career for owners ABL Stable, D. Bossone, J. Cahill, P. Donnely, and Phantom House Farm. With all of Just Call Kenny’s quick success, McBurney does not believe that he needs to do anything out of the ordinary while preparing him for the William Hill Haskell.

“He’s a sweetheart to train,” said McBurney. “His normal day is anywhere from a mile and a half to two and a half miles mixing in jogging and galloping. He’ll probably have two little breezes, I don’t think he needs to do anything fast. He’ll get some gate schooling and paddock schooling in, so just the normal routine.”

Others looking at the Haskell are the filly Untapable, Bayern, Wildcat Red, Social Inclusion, Medal Count and Albano, who plan to travel the mile and an eighth along Monmouth’s main track in search of the winner’s share of the $1 million purse.

The William Hill Haskell will be televised live on NBC and is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Series, with the victor getting an automatic berth to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.


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