OCEANPORT, N.J. – The countdown is on for the Aug. 1 IZOD Haskell Invitational, and with just over 2 ½ weeks remaining before the Grade 1 event, the connections for horses from across the continent continue to make plans to be in Oceanport for the Jersey Shore’s biggest sporting event.
Topping the list of likely starters in the mile and an eighth Haskell are Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Preakness Stakes champ Lookin at Lucky. Super Saver, trained by Todd Pletcher, burst onto the national scene after splashing home a 2 ½ length winner in the sloppy going at Churchill Downs, besting Lookin at Lucky who finished 6th that day after getting jostled around from his inside post soon after the break.
Two weeks later, in Baltimore, Lookin at Lucky, conditioned by Bob Baffert, turned the tables on Super Saver, capturing the Preakness over First Dude. Super Saver, who stalked the early pace, faded in the lane to finish 8th in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The IZOD Haskell will be the first start since the May 15 Preakness for both Super Saver and Lookin at Lucky.
Looking to take on Classic winners Super Saver and Lookin at Lucky in the IZOD Haskell are:
First Dude, runner-up in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes. First Dude is trained by Dale Romans;
Trappe Shot, winner of Monmouth’s Long Branch Stakes on July 10;
Uptowncharlybrown, Pasco Stakes winner, who like Trappe Shot, is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin;
Afleet Again, the Butch Reid-trainee was runner-up in the Pegasus Stakes (G3) here on June 19; and,
One or possibly two entrants from the Nick Zito camp.
Considered possible for this year’s 43rd renewal of the Haskell are the Mark Frostad-trained Hotep, runner-up in the Queen’s Plate (G1), and Gunfighter, who hails from the Tony Dutrow barn and has won his last three.
The IZOD Haskell, as well as the Grade 3 $200,000 Oceanport Stakes, will air live on ABC from 5 – 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 1.
Select reserve seats remain for the event, which can be purchased by calling 732-571-5563 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com.