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.
Strong Field Ready For Gulfstream Sprint Stakes
Led by 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner up Laugh Track, the $100,000 Grade III Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes is the second of two graded-stakes events to be run at Gulfstream on Saturday afternoon. For horse four-years-old and up, the race will be run at seven furlongs on the dirt. Going off at 16-1, Laugh Track almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets of last year’s Breeders’ Cup, when he went five wide at the top of the stretch and ran past six others before just being beaten a neck by the race favorite in Secret Circle.
Second choice looking for big step forward
It was Laugh Track’s third in-the-money finish in graded-stakes company, a run that included a win in the Grade III Virgil Stakes at Woodbine. He tried stretching out to a mile after the BC, but was well back in ninth among an outstanding field in the Grade I Cigar Mile in late November. The Gulfstream Sprint will be his first race since. In a tough 11-horse field, second choice at 3-1 in the ML is Catron. Unraced at two, he won twice last year, breaking his maiden in June, and then came back after six months to win at the allowance level at Gulfstream.
Other former Breeders' Cup runners in the field
Others of interest in the field include the 5-1 Brujo de Olleros, a Brazilian-bred who was third in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November, finishing ahead of two-time Grade I winner Verrazano. Although it has been awhile since his last trip to the winner’s circle, crafty seven-year-old Jackson’s Bend has a pair of Grade I wins on his resume and was third in the 2010 Preakness Stakes. A long shot who could have a sayin the outcome is the home-bred Fort Loudon. Second two starts back in the Grade III Mr. Prospector, he won this race last year.
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.