News & Barn notes

Kentucky Derby Winner Mage Joins Field For Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 Million Haskell Stakes

July 18, 2023

Saying “it’s time to get the train started again,” co-owner Ramiro Restrepo announced today that Kentucky Derby winner Mage will make his next start in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park.

The presence of the 3-year-old son of 2018 Haskell winner Good Magic brings the number of current commitments to Monmouth Park’s mile and an eighth showcase race to eight.

Joining Mage in the field are Arabian Knight, Awesome Strong, Extra Anejo, Geaux Rocket Ride, Howgreatisnate, Salute the Stars and Tapit Trice.

Mage last raced in the Preakness Stakes on May 20, finishing third.

“Our summer goal since the Preakness was run, for us personally, has always been the Travers (at Saratoga on Aug. 26),” said Restrepo. “We were thinking about the best way to get to the Travers. The Haskell falls five weeks out and gives us an opportunity to come back in a strong race against a solid field – and against some of the best 3-year-olds in the country.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to get him back in action.”

Mage, unraced at 2, will be making his fourth straight start in Grade 1 company in the Haskell.

“He had a great break after the Preakness – 17 days of no saddle and no racetrack,” said Restrepo. “The break was good for him.

“We’ve only had three works since then. The weather played a role in that. But it’s time to get the train started again. Three works for this race is not ideal but we’ve got to get the ball rolling.”

Mage will ship in from Kentucky tomorrow, Restrepo said.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to race in historically famous races with a lot of tradition and to be part of race at a beautiful setting like Monmouth Park,” he said.

Javier Castellano has the mount for trainer Gustavo Delgado, Sr..

Four Hall of Famer trainers will be part of the Haskell field – Todd Pletcher (Tapit Trice), Bob Baffert (Arabian Knight), Richard Mandella (Geaux Rocket Ride) and Steve Asmussen (Extra Anejo). Baffert will be seeking a record 10th Haskell victory.

The Haskell headlines a 14-race card that features four other graded stakes, including the Grade 1, $600,000 United Nations.

First race post time Saturday is noon.