Owner John C. Oxley’s yellow and blue silks will be
represented in the 45th running of the Grade 1 $1 million Haskell
Invitational on Sunday, July 29. What remains a question mark is which of his
two top 3-year-olds will carry the colors.
Both Prospective, a multiple graded stakes winner who took
both the Grade 3 Ohio Derby and Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, and Stealcase are
“We still haven’t decided,” said trainer Mark Casse when
reached at Saratoga Race Course as he was leading a horse over for the first
race on Saturday. “Mr. Oxley is here and we will talk it over later this
afternoon to decide which one will run.”
Prospective, by Malibu Moon out of the Awesome Again mare
Spirited Away, was bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm and was purchased out
of the Fasig-Tipton 2010 Saratoga yearling sale for $250,000. The dark bay colt
has won six of 11 starts and is coming off consecutive wins in the Victoria
Park Stakes at Woodbine and the Ohio Derby.
Oxley signed the ticket on Stealcase, by Lawyer Ron out of
the Cat Thief mare Steal the Show, for $320,000 when he came through the ring
as a 2-year-old at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale in March of 2011. Last out,
Stealcase was second in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on June
16 despite a troubled trip.
On Friday, Prospective worked at Woodbine and breezed five
furlongs in 1:02.80 on the all weather
track. Stealcase’s last work was at Saratoga
one week ago when he breezed the same distance in 1:01.76 on the dirt.
In other Haskell news, Dullahan, who is a definite starter,
blazed over the Churchill Downs strip on Saturday with a bullet work of 59.80 for
Trainer Bob Baffert said on Saturday morning that Belmont
Stakes runner-up Paynter will arrive on the grounds “a few days” before the
race. Baffert, who has won the Haskell a record five times including the 2010
and 2011 editions, remains undecided if Blueskiesnrainbows will join Paynter on
the plane and in the starting gate.