Coil earned an automatic entry into the Breeders Cup Classic with his win in the 44th running of the Haskell Invitational. It was an uncharacteristic come from behind victory for the Bob Baffert trained three year-old, “He didn’t break well, and at that point I thought the race was over. Down the backstretch, I thought he was going to have to be like his dad, Point Given, to win.” Including Point Given’s win in 2001, Baffert has won the last five Haskells that he has entered.
Teak’s North became a major player in the older male turf division off his two impressive wins at the Jersey Shore. He won the grade III Monmouth Stakes on June 12 and followed that up with a dominating score in the United Nations on July 2nd. Trainer Justin Sallusto talked about the importance of that grade I win, “I think people are starting to gain some respect for him. “As he continues to race and perform well against and beat the top horses he’ll obtain the respect he’s rightfully due. Extending the distance from 1 1/8 miles to 1 3/8 miles in a shorter period of time I think showed me how much substance the horse has.’’
Teak’s North has been given the top weight assignment in Saturday’s grade I Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga. He will try and win his third grade I stake of the year breaking from post position 7 with jockey Jose Lezcano.
Sean Avery and “Jersey” Joe Bravo added to their twelve length victory in Monmouth’s Longfellow Stakes with a 17-1 upset of Saratoga’s grade I Vanderbilt Handicap. Bravo pushed Sean Avery to an early two length lead and was able to hold off the heavily favored Trappe Shot. Trainer Allen Iwinski got his first grade I victory, “The race itself was just so exciting. Going right down to the wire. Head-and-head. ‘Are we going to get there? Are we beat?’ He just hung in.”
The “Fire and Ice” show, featured the horses of Monmouth based trainer Kelly Breen and owners George and Lori Hall, had a great run in June and July. The show opened when Ruler On Ice won the Belmont Stakes at 24-1. Adding blinkers and catching a sloppy track was just what “Fire” needed to capture the last leg of the Triple Crown. Two weeks later Pants On Fire joined the show when he captured the grade 3 Pegasus Stakes by two lengths ridden by fan favorite Rosie Napravnik. A week before the Haskell “Fire and Ice” gave the Monmouth faithful a treat when they worked between races to make their final preparations for the Haskell.
Jockey Chuck C. Lopez won the 4,000th race of his career in the first on Saturday, July 2nd when he piloted Duffy’s Tavern ($7.80) to a gate to wire performance. The 50-year-old Lopez has made Monmouth his home base his entire career. He was the top apprentice at Monmouth in 1979 and won the overall riding title at Monmouth in 1998.
His dad Carlos was a rider and two of his sons, Erick and David are jockeys.
On Jul 25th, Who’s The Cowboy won the tenth race and became the eighth New Jersey-bred millionaire with earnings of $1,026,722. The 9-year-old gelding by Intensity was bred by Carolyn Sleeter and is currently owned by Island Wind Racing and trained by Peter Walder. From 66 lifetime starts, Who’s The Cowboy sports a record of 18-11-12, with 13 of those wins coming at Monmouth Park.
On a beautiful day at the Jersey Shore, 27,039 people jammed Monmouth Park to celebrate Father's Day. The two stakes had crowd pleasing results has both races were won by the favorites. Click on the link to read one of my favorite blogs of the summer.
ABC’s of the Monmouth Hall of Champions -Today Nashua – Nashua raced 30 times in his career with 22 wins and earnings of $1,288,565. He finished second in the Kentucky Derby and went on to win the Preakness and Belmont. He won the 1956 Monmouth Handicap. Nashua may be most famous for defeating Swaps in a match race of the top two Derby finishers. In 1965, Nashua was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame. Nashua ranks 30 in the Horse Racing Nation Top 250 Horses of All-Time with an 8.77/10 rating.