Preakness Winner Oxbow Set to Arrive Friday for July 28th Haskell

Monday, July 22, 2013

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Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will have Preakness winner Oxbow on the Monmouth Park grounds late Friday afternoon as the classic winning colt is set to go postward in Sunday’s Grade 1 $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Lukas sent Oxbow out on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga on July 15 to work, but not for an official session recorded by the clockers. Oxbow’s last official work was at Churchill Downs on July 6, when he breezed five furlongs in 1:02 flat.

“He worked here and he’s doing very well,” Lukas said from Saratoga. “He went five-eighths but I let him breeze through the stretch here last Monday. I thought that ninety-seven degree heat might cook him. The thing is, he puts so much into his works in the morning that I backed off. I didn’t work him in the heat. I’m not going to. He’ll just gallop up to the race.”

The surface on the Oklahoma training track is considered not as hard as the surface at Churchill Downs, where Oxbow had been based, but Lukas said he handled it just fine and he thinks the colt will take to the Monmouth oval as well.

Calumet Farm’s Oxbow contested all three legs of the Triple Crown, winning the Preakness, finishing second in the Belmont, and sixth in the Kentucky Derby after pressing a torrid pace on a sloppy track.

Lukas will van the son of Awesome Again from Saratoga on Friday and said he is scheduled to arrive on the Monmouth backside late in the afternoon at feeding time.

Gary Stevens, who picked up the mount for the Arkansas Derby (G1) April 14 and was in the irons for all three of Oxbow’s Triple Crown efforts, keeps the call and will jet in from Del Mar.

“We’re keeping him happy and we’re ready,” said Lukas, who won the 1995 Haskell with Serena’s Song, a member of Monmouth’s Hall of Champions and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Sunday’s Haskell will go as race 13 on a 14-race program with an estimated post time of 6:20 p.m.  Gates will open on Sunday at 10 a.m., with first post set for noon.