Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said on Saturday morning that
Pegasus Stakes winner Le Bernardin might make his next start in the Grade 1 $1
million Haskell Invitational and that there is also the possibility that Count
Fleet and Withers Stakes winner Alpha, who finished 12th in the
Kentucky Derby, could run instead.
Both colts are among the 29 three-year-olds invited for 45th
renewal of the Haskell on Sunday, July 29. The event will be contested at 1 1/8
mile on Monmouth’s main track.
“I’m trying to split them up,” said McLaughlin when reached
by phone at Belmont Park. “Both of them are doing great and there is a chance one
will run. Le Bernardin really likes the track at Monmouth and his last race
there was impressive.”
Darley Stable’s Le Bernardin captured the Grade 3 $100,000
Pegasus Stakes here last time out as he won the final prep race for the Haskell
by a neck with Mike Luzzi in the irons. Unraced as a 2-year-old, the
Kentucky-bred son of Bernardini has won three of his five starts this year.
“He and Alpha both worked great this morning at Belmont and
both of them are doing great right now,” McLaughlin said.
Alpha blazed five furlongs in 58.88 for the fastest breeze
of 23 horses at the distance and Le Bernardin traveled four furlongs in 49.37.