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.
Last Gunfighter Takes a Thriller
San Pablo badly wanted to defend his title in the Philip Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday, and no one who watched the race can claim that the five-year-old son of Jump Start didn’t run his heart out. The problem was, Last Gunfighter wanted to win the Grade III race just as much, and at the end of a thrilling stretch drive it was the latter who managed to find just enough get his head in front to take the win in a photo.
Race was a battle right from the gate
With three scratches out of the race – including Grade II Monmouth Cup winner Pants on Fire – it was a highly competitive field of five that went to the gate for the $150,000 Iselin. By the half-mile point of the 1 1/8 miles race, the lead had changed hands three times, with San Pablo challenging the pace right up at the front, and Last Gunfighter sitting patiently in last, a mere three lengths back. Coming around the far turn, jockey Joe Bravo sent Last Gunfighter three wide to challenge for the lead.
Last Gunfighter a sure thing to hit the board
Entering the stretch, San Pablo got to the lead again, but that’s when he was hooked by Last Gunfighter, and the race was on. Pulling away from the pack, those two went head-to-head down the stretch in an all out drive. Only into the final strides was Last Gunfighter able to finally wear down his rival, with Jaguar Paw finishing third, another 5 ½ lengths back. Last Gunfighter has now won seven of his last eight races, four of five for 2013, and has yet to finish out of the money in 12 lifetime starts.
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.