Race of the Week 2017

Eight Expected for Haskell

Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Preakness winner Lookin at Lucky are set to headline what is perhaps the deepest field in the 43-year history of the IZOD Haskell, when they go postward in Sunday’s Grade 1 event. Entries will be drawn Thursday afternoon at Monmouth Park’s annual Haskell press conference which can be seen online via webcast at www.monmouthpark.com.

The expected field to for the mile and eighth $1 million IZOD Haskell is:

AFLEET AGAIN - The only member of the IZOD Haskell field to be stabled locally, Afleet Again worked four furlongs in :49 on July 26 at Monmouth Park in his final pre-Haskell work. Trained by Robert “Butch” Reid Jr. and ridden by Joe Bravo, Afleet Again most recently finished a hard-closing second in Monmouth’s Grade 3 Pegasus. 

“If he gets a good pace in the Haskell, and I think he will, I think he’ll run his best race,” Reid said.

FIRST DUDE - The Preakness runner-up is scheduled to arrive at Monmouth Park Wednesday evening after vanning from his Churchill Downs home. First Dude last worked six furlongs in 1:14 1/5 beneath the Twin Spires on July 22. The son of Stephen Got Even exits a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes after setting the pace.

“He was doing great before the Belmont, and he’s doing just as well heading into this race,” said trainer Dale Romans.

ICE BOX - This year’s Kentucky Derby runner-up concluded his Haskell preparations with a four-furlong work in :48 4/5 over Saratoga’s training track. The Grade 1 Florida Derby winner exits the Belmont Stakes, a race in which he finished ninth as the favorite. Jockey Jose Lezcano, who has the return call on Ice Box, was leading rider at Monmouth Park in 2008.

LOOKIN AT LUCKY - The 2010 Preakness winner is scheduled to arrive at Monmouth Park, via airplane, on Thursday from his southern California home base. With a win by Lookin at Lucky, trainer Bob Baffert would become the first conditioner to saddle four Haskell winners. Last year’s Champion 2-Year-Old worked five furlongs in :58 3/5 at Del Mar on July 26.

“He looks like he’s ready for a big race,” Baffert said. “It’s not an easy spot, but from here on out none of them are easy.”

OUR DARK KNIGHT - A recent three-length allowance winner at Monmouth Park on June 19, this Nick Zito-trainee will be making his graded stakes debut in the IZOD Haskell. The son of Medaglia d’Oro worked four furlongs in :48 4/5 at Saratoga on July 25 and has never been worse than second in six career starts.

SUPER SAVER - The reigning Kentucky Derby winner has been working steadily for his return to the races, capped off by a five-furlong move in 1:00 at Saratoga on July 26. Jockey Calvin Borel will attempt to become the first jockey to ever win back-to-back editions of the Haskell after taking the 2009 running with Rachel Alexandra. Trainer Todd Pletcher and owner WinStar Farm captured the 2006 Haskell with Bluegrass Cat and the 2007 running with Any Given Saturday. Super Saver is scheduled to arrive at Monmouth Park Sunday morning.

“The race is going to be run for the three-year-old champion in the second half of the year,” said Elliott Walden, VP and racing manager for WinStar Farm. “You have a few horses on even ground, Super Saver being one of them. That’s one of the reasons we’re going to Monmouth. We want it to be settled on the track.”

TRAPPE SHOT - The winner of Monmouth Park’s Long Branch Stakes last out worked four furlongs in :48 1/5 at Saratoga on July 26. Undefeated in his last four starts, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trainee will look to become the first horse since Lion Heart in 2004 to complete the Long Branch/IZOD Haskell double.

UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN - Will look to win Monmouth Park’s signature race for locally-based owners Fantasy Lane Stable. Exits the Belmont Stakes and worked five furlongs in :59 4/5 at Belmont Park on July 26. The Limehouse colt will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh who makes his Haskell debut after riding locally from 2004 to 2007.




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