News & Barn notes

Haskell Contenders Bravazo And Lone Sailor Arrive On Monmouth Park Backstretch

July 28, 2018


Bravazo and Lone Sailor, two of the seven combatants for the Sunday’s $1 million Haskell Invitational, arrived on the Monmouth Park backstretch Saturday morning after their separate van rides from Saratoga Race Course. 

“The trip was about four hours and Bravazo was awesome the entire way,” said Arielle Witkowski, who is looking after the colt until to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. “He’s a nice horse and he does things right. He’s easy.” 

Bravazo, the only horse other than eventual Triple Crown winner and the recently retired Justify to run in all three legs in the Triple Crown series, is the 3-1 second choice in the morning line. The Calumet Farm homebred, who was sixth in the Kentucky Derby, second in the Preakness Stakes and then sixth in the Belmont Stakes in his last start, will depart from Post 5 with regular rider Luis Saez. 

“We got here just after 9:30 this morning,” said Witkowski, who also gallops horses for Lukas and is on summer break from her studies at the Royal Veterinary College in London, England. “I’ve been working for Wayne since I was 16, the year Winning Colors won the Kentucky Derby (1988). Wayne is the absolute best. He taught me everything I know.” 

Bravazo, who is by Awesome Again out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tiz O’ Gold, comes from the same family as 2012 Haskell winner Paynter and 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow, both of whom were sired by Awesome Again and are out of Cee’s Tizzy mares. 

The Tom Amoss-trained Lone Sailor, fifth in the Preakness and second by a nose in the Ohio Derby to Core Beliefs, was scheduled to school in the paddock following Saturday’s fifth race, 

 The Grade 1 Haskell Invitational is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to be run at Churchill Downs November 3. Post time for the Haskell is 5:47 p.m. EDT and the event will be televised on NBC from 5-6 PM.  

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Reigning 2-Year-Old Male champion and 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic, who is owned e Five Racing and Stonestreet Stables, is scheduled to arrive from Eclipse-Award winning trainer Chad Brown’s stable at Saratoga on Sunday morning. The 6-5 morning line favorite will be partnered with his regular ride, Eclipse Award winner Jose Ortiz. 

Long Branch Stakes winner Navy Commander, who is based at Parx with trainer Robert “Butch” Reid, Jr., will also ship in on the morning of the race. 

Core Beliefs will have the Southern California-based Flavien Prat in the irons when they depart from Post 4. The colt, who arrived on Tuesday afternoon, completed his paddock schooling lessons on Friday and went out onto the track for a routine one-mile gallop on Saturday morning. 

Golden Brown and Roaming Union, who are locally based and trained by Pat McBurney and Kelly Breen, respectively, completed their final routing gallops on Saturday morning and both trainers reported that their charges are coming into the race as good as can be. 

The Haskell field from the rail out with jockeys and morning line odds: 1 — Lone Sailor, Joe Bravo, 5-1; 2 — Navy Commander, Angel Arroyo, 12-1; 3 — Roaming Union, Albin Jimenez, 10-1; 4 — Core Beliefs, Flavien Prat, 4-1; 5 — Bravazo, Luis Saez, 3-1; 6 — Good Magic, Jose Ortiz, 6-5; 7 — Golden Brown, Jairo Rendon, 15-1. 

Gates open at 7:30 a.m. and the parking lots at 6:30 a.m. on Haskell day. First race post is noon for the 14-race card.