The field is set for the $1 million Haskell, where Nyquist will be trying to re-stake his claim as the top three-year-old in the country.
Wake Forest (GER) Tops Chad Brown Trio for $300,000 United Nations StakesRead this article
In a matchup of battle-tested sprinters, the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint December 12 at Fair Grounds signifies the start of the Black Gold Pick 5 and offers the potential for excellent value.
On paper, the race runs through 7/5 morning line favorite Heitai who returned from nearly a four-month layoff to finish second in a $35,000 optional claiming event November 21 at Fair Grounds as the heavy favorite. Heitai, a five year-old veteran hailing from the Tom Amoss barn recorded a Beyer Speed Figure of 80 – his lowest number in at least 11 starts. If Heitai has lost a step – or a few steps – the race suddenly becomes much more interesting. Breaking from the rail, the speedy Heitai will prompt the pace under jockey Leandro Goncalves who was unable to clear the field using similar tactics last out.
Sir Genghis (8/1) ran dismally last out when finishing sixth in the same race Heitai exits, but may have simply hated the sloppy track – an excuse less likely for the favorite who had raced with previous success over wet racetracks. Sir Genghis, also possessing ample early speed, should make his presence felt from the opening bell with Jamie Theriot aboard.
Despite Too Dim’s (6/1) recent lackluster form, the six year-old gelding should improve while getting back over the Fair Grounds dirt where he has posted 6 wins in 10 lifetime starts to go with a second and two thirds. The Edward Johnston trainee will appreciate a lively early pace and should be rolling late.
On Sunday at Monmouth Park, the featured race is the $300,000 United Nations Stakes. Scheduled to be run at a mile and three-eighths on the turf, the Grade 1 event has drawn a field of ten colts and geldings.
On Sunday at Monmouth Park, the featured race is the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes, a key prep race for the Haskell Invitational (G1). The Grade 3 event will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth and has drawn a field of seven three-year-olds.