With less than a week until Monmouth Park’s Grade 1, $1 million Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell Invitational, Preakness winner Shackleford and Belmont victor Ruler On Ice headline a prospective field of eight 3-year-olds. Entries for Monmouth Park’s signature event will be drawn at Thursday’s annual Haskell press conference.
The expected field for the mile and one eighth Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell is:
ASTROLOGY – The Steve Asmussen trainee finished third in the Preakness earlier this year and will bear the colors of Stonestreet Stables, who captured the 2009 Haskell with Rachel Alexandra. The son of A.P. Indy will reside in Barn 39 leading up to the Haskell. The colt’s final work for the Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell was a four-furlong breeze in :51 1/5 on Saratoga’s training track on Monday, July 25.
COIL – The Bob Baffert-trained son of Point Given will make his conventional dirt debut in the Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell. Coil’s final Haskell work also came on Monday, July 25 – a six-furlong move in 1:11 2/5 at Del Mar. The chestnut colt will be stabled in Kelly Breen’s barn leading up to the Sunday’s race and will bear the colors of Mike Pegram, who teamed with Baffert to capture last year’s Haskell with Lookin At Lucky. Martin Garcia will have the mount.
CONCEALED IDENTITY – The runner-up last out in the Pegasus (G3) behind Pants On Fire is partially owned by Monmouth Park lessee Morris Bailey. The Smarty Jones colt followed up a victory in the Federico Tesio earlier this year with a 10th-place finish in the Preakness. Trained by Edmond Gaudet, Concealed Identity will ship to Monmouth Park Sunday morning and will be ridden by Chris DeCarlo. Concealed Identity’s final Haskell work is scheduled to come Wednesday morning at Bowie.
J J’S LUCKY TRAIN – A two-time winner over the Monmouth Park surface, the colt by Silver Train will arrive at Monmouth Park on Tuesday and have his final work Wednesday morning on the local turf. The Bill Anderson trainee will be housed in Barn 18 leading up to Sunday’s race. Paco Lopez, aboard for J J’s Lucky Train’s second-place finish in the Woody Stephens (G2) at Belmont last out, will ride in the Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell.
JOE VANN – This year’s Illinois Derby (G3) winner will garner the services of 2004 Haskell-winning rider Joe Bravo for Sunday’s Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell. Most recently third in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill, the Zayat Stables’ color-bearer is trained by two-time Haskell-winning trainer Todd Pletcher.
PANTS ON FIRE – The Louisiana Derby (G2) and Pegasus (G3) winner completed his Haskell preparations with a four-furlong breeze alongside stablemate and fellow Haskell starter Ruler On Ice Sunday in between races at Monmouth Park. The Kelly Breen-trained colt finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby and will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo for the first time Sunday.
RULER ON ICE – The Belmont Stakes (G1) winner finished in a virtual dead-heat with stablemate Pants on Fire in their half-mile work Sunday. Owned by Rumson-residents George and Lori Hall, Ruler On Ice will again be ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr. in the Resorts Casino & Hotel Haskell.
SHACKLEFORD – The Preakness winner is scheduled to arrive at Monmouth Park early Tuesday evening and will be housed with the runners of Kiaran McLaughlin in Barn 8. After finishing second in the Florida Derby (G1) earlier this year at 68-1, Shackleford set the pace in the Kentucky Derby (G1) before checking in fourth. The Forestry colt ran fifth last out in the Belmont Stakes behind Ruler On Ice. Jesus Castanon retains the mount.