News & Barn notes

Awesome Slew Pointed Toward Haskell

July 17, 2016


Awesome Slew, who calls the Monmouth Park backstretch his home, will be facing off against Kentucky Derby champion Nyquist for the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31. 

“He has been working well since his last race,” said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who conditions the horse for Live Oak Plantation. “I expect him to run his best race yet in his next start.” 

The 3-year-old colt by Awesome Again out of the Seeking the Gold mare Slewfoundmoney is coming off a third place finish in his first try around two turns in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth on June 19. 

Awesome Slew has made three of his four career starts over the Monmouth main track including breaking his maiden at first asking last year, going five furlongs on June 27. He made is second and last start as a 2-year-old in the Grade 3 Sanford at Saratoga on July 25, where broke poorly from his inside post and stormed late to finish fourth by just two lengths. 

He returned to the races in 2016 off a nearly 10-month layoff and grabbed a $50,000 allowance optional claiming event from sitting just off the early pace and taking the lead at the top of the stretch and never looking back, notching a three length victory in the six furlong event. 

Awesome Slew has worked twice since the Pegasus, both at Monmouth. The latest came on July 11, where he went one mile over the fast going in 1:43 3/5.  

Along with Nyquist, two other Kentucky Derby starters, Brody’s Cause and Gun Runner, have confirmed for the Haskell for their next start of 2016.  

Last year’s Haskell saw Triple Crown winner American Pharoah take the New Jersey’s richest horse race en route to being named Horse of the Year. 

The Haskell Invitational is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic division and will be telecast live on NBC.  

Gates will open early on Haskell Day at 10 a.m. with first race scheduled for 12 noon. 

For tickets to this year’s 49th renewal of the Haskell Invitational, call 732-571-5563, visit, or stop by the reserved seat ticket booth on the second floor of the Grandstand any live race date.