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Racing At The Jersey Shore

Getting Ready For The Haskell

Local favorites Pants On Fire and Ruler On Ice had their final workouts at Monmouth Park today between the fifth and sixth races. With jockeys Elvis Trujillo and Jose Valdivia wearing the silks of owner George Hall, the horses left the paddock and headed to the half-mile pole for their four furlong breezes.


As the Kelly Breen trained duo was getting saddled in the paddock, “Fire & Ice” pin back buttons in the pink and orange colors of the owners were given out to fans.


As “Fire” and “Ice” began their works, Pants On Fire jumped a length ahead on the rail but Ruler On Ice quickly caught up. Side by side the pair breezed the first quarter in :23 3/5 and hit the wire in :47 3/5.  A photo revealed Pants On Fire a nose in front at the finish line.


The pair was welcomed back from their exercise by the applause of the Jersey Shore crowd. “We’re the hometown team,” Breen said.  “It’s nice to have so many people rooting for them.”


Breen was very happy with the exercise, “Absolutely perfect, I wanted them to go just under :48.  They’re both coming off wins and I just want to keep them sharp. They looked good coming back, both had lots of energy.  They’ll gallop up to the race now.  Just take it easy.”


Jockey Elvis Trujillo, who is taking the place of the injured Rosie Napravnik on Pants On Fire, said, “He went really well. Nice and easy. Looks like he’s ready to go.”


Regular rider Jose Valdivia Jr. was also impressed with Belmont winner Ruler On Ice. “He went great,” Valdivia said.  “Ready to rock and roll.”


The post position draw for Sunday’s Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell Invitational Press Conference and Race Draw will take place Thursday, July 28, at noon ET.  I will be live on TWITTER , tweeting the post positions as they are drawn and I will share comments from the connections of all of the horses.  Make sure you follow @AndyScoggin so that you can get all the Haskell information live. You can also see my handicapping tips at AndyScoggin in NJ.


ABC’s of the Monmouth Hall of Champions -Today Majestic Light Majestic Light started 31 times going 11-5-5 while earning $650,158 for owner Ogden Mills Phipps. Majestic Light won the 1976 Monmouth Invitational, now known as the Haskell, in stakes record time of 1:47 that still stands.  He can back the next year to win the Amory Haskell Handicap. 


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Older Comments about Getting Ready For The Haskell...

getting ready for the haskell shack attack should dominate with out a doubt
Pants on Fire looked great today and it was really hot on the track! I think Coil will make the race interesting. Wasn't Shackleford supposed to work today too?
I am still squarely on the Pants on Fire bandwagon.

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Meet Matt Shifman

In the 70’s I was another one of those kids that went to the track with their fathers, and I immediately became enthralled with the excitement and challenges of handicapping.  And then the charisma and dominance of Secretariat gave me a hero to follow. To this day, I still get emotional when I hear Chic Anderson’s call of the 1973 Belmont, “Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine”.

There have been many great horses run at the shore. In 1976 I watched Majestic Light win the Monmouth Invitational, now the Haskell, in track record time, defeating Honest Pleasure, the big favorite who was in from New York.  This was one of my first big wins at the track.
In the 80’s, as a disciple of Andy Beyer, I made my own speed figures because they were not available to the public. Needless to say I visited Monmouth frequently to test out the “figs”.
The 90’s allowed me to learn about the backstretch as a part owner of a few claimers that were stabled at Philadelphia Park.  Not a typical owner, I mucked stalls, cooled out the horses, and watched morning works.  Also, I met my wife and discovered that her grandfather bred, owned, and raced thoroughbreds on the West Virginia, Maryland circuit.  Today our office is decorated with winner’s circle pictures and a vast collection of Kentucky Derby glasses.
Today’s electronic age makes it so easy to gather information about racing.  I hope you use this blog to learn about Racing at the Jersey Shore.


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