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Oceanport, Matchmaker Top Haskell Undercard Events

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While the spotlight on July 31 falls squarely on the 44th running of the $1million Resorts Haskell Invitational (G1), Monmouth will offer seven other stakes on the 14-race card. 

                Topping the Haskell undercard events are two Grade 3 turf tests, the $200,000 Oceanport at a mile and a sixteenth, and the $200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker for fillies and mares at nine furlongs. 

                Get Serious, winner of last year’s Oceanport, is ready to try for a repeat, and Violon Sacre, beaten a neck that day, is expected to be on hand for a return match. 

                Last year’s winner of the Taylor Made Matchmaker, Unbridled Essence, is likely to be back to defend her title. The Gregg Sacco-trained mare was a 41-1 surprise package in 2010, but is a known quantity this year after coming up just a nose short in the Grade 3 Violet here on May 30. 

                The Matchmaker offers a unique prize to the first three finishers – a free season to one of three Taylor Made stallions. The stallions this year are Forestry, Northern Afleet and Wildcat Heir. 

                The other five stakes to be contested on Haskell Day all carry purses of $100,000. They include the Jersey Derby on turf for 3-year-olds; the Majestic Light for older horses and the Lady’s Secret for fillies and mares both at a mile and a sixteenth, and the Teddy Drone for older horses and the Regret for fillies and mares at six furlongs.