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It's Offical: Nyquist to Run in betfair.com Haskell on July 31

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Oceanport, N.J. – The connections of Nyquist, winner of the Kentucky Derby, confirmed they will run their champion next in Monmouth Park’s $1 million betfair.com Haskell Invitational on Sunday, July 31. 

            “We’re headed to New Jersey,” said Doug O’Neill, trainer of Nyquist.  “He very much impressed us this morning with his work.  Mario (Gutierrez) was aboard and he looked really solid.  We’re pumped up and can’t wait to get to New Jersey.” 

            That work was a snappy :59 flat over the Santa Anita Racetrack, best of 23 that went five furlongs this morning. 

            “He’ll ship down to Del Mar and train there,” O’Neill said.  “We don’t have specific shipping plans just yet, but we’ll work that out over the next week or so.” 

             A colt by Uncle Mo, Nyquist won his first eight career starts for Reddam Racing LLC before finishing second last out over a sloppy track in the Preakness on May 21.  He secured champion 2-year-old honors with his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and this year sports wins in the San Vicente Stakes, Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby.  The betfair.com Haskell will mark his tenth trip to the post and fifth in 2016.   

            “We’re very grateful to Paul and Ziillah Reddam and Doug O’Neill on their decision to run Nyquist in the Haskell,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development LLC, operators of the racetrack.  “The Haskell has always been the race where champions prove their greatness and the addition of Nyquist to the field will ensure that fans see another fantastic renewal of New Jersey’s biggest horse race.” 

            Nyquist will be the second starter in the Haskell for Reddam Racing LLC, who finished fourth in 2012 with Handsome Mike.  Nyquist will be O’Neill’s third Haskell runner, having sent out Handsome Mike and in 2003 Excessivepleasure. 

            The Grade 1 betfair.com Haskell, which last year drew a record of crowd of more than 60,000 to see Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, is contested at a mile and eighth.  Throughout its history, equine participants in the betfair.com Haskell have won 39 Triple Crown races, nine Horse of the Year trophies and seven Breeders’ Cup Classics. 

            Select seats still remain for Haskell Day and range in price from $10 to $25.  To purchase reserved tickets, call 732-571-5563, visit www.monmouthpark.com, or stop by the reserved seat ticket booth on the second floor of the Grandstand any live racing day. 

            In addition to the Grade 1 betfair.com Haskell on July 31, that day’s racing card includes four other graded stakes:  Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Cup; Grade 3, $150,000 Oceanport; Grade 3, $100,000 Molly Pitcher; and, Grade 3, $100,000 WinStar Matchmaker.   

            Grandstand admission will be $8 (seniors are $4) and Clubhouse admission is set at $10 (seniors are $5).  As always, military in uniform or with identification as well as children under 12 are admitted free. 

            First race Haskell Day will be noon with the betfair.com Haskell Invitational set for a live broadcast on NBC. 

            The betfair.com Haskell Invitational is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series:  Win and You’re In, with the victor earning an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to be renewed this year on Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.