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.
Kentucky Derby Runners to Try Haskell
Racing fans are looking forward to an exciting weekend at Monmouth Park, as the field is starting to take shape for the running of the $1 million Grade I William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes this Sunday, July 28,2013. The race will feature a 2013 Kentucky Derby rematch between second-place finisher Golden Soul, and sixth-place finisher Oxbow, who went on to capture the Preakness and finish second in the Belmont. Both runners will be making their first start since the end of the Triple Crown chase.
Verrazano looking for Grade I redemption
Also in the field will be Wood Memorial winner Verrazano, who last winter was the odds-on early choice for the Derby, but who faltered badly to finish well back in the field at Churchill. That’s the only blemish in his record in six career starts, however, and most recently he cruised to an easy nine-length win in the Grade III Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth in mid June. Expected to contend as well will be Micromanage, winner of the Long Branch Stakes in July, the last major prep for the Haskell.
Haskell Invitational is one for champions
First run in 1968, the Haskell Invitational goes at the classic distance of 1 ¼ miles on the Monmouth dirt track, and is a major indicator of who may be ready to challenge for the title in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Classic in the fall. The last three winners of the Haskell have gone on to claim horse of the year honors for their division, while from 2009 to 2011, the winner has been later named as the Eclipse Award winner as American Champion three-year-old for the year, including Rachel Alexandra in the females’ category.
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.