A field of seven is set to go in Sunday’s $1,000,000 William
Hill Haskell, as trainers make the finishing touches to their Haskell plans.
The following highlights the Saturday activities of the nation’s top 3-year-old
Charles E. Fipke’s homebred Golden Soul was on a van headed to Monmouth Park Saturday morning
after a routine 1 ¼ miles gallop at Saratoga on a track rated as fast. “He’s on
his way right now,” trainer Dallas Stewart said mid-morning. “He was out on the
track and then he shipped. We’re looking forward to the race on Sunday.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who is looking for his
first Haskell win since taking back-to-back editions in 2006 with Bluegrass Cat
and 2007 with Any Given Saturday, sent Long Branch stakes winner Micromanage and multiple stakes winner
and morning line favorite Verrazano
out for their final preparations at Saratoga. The colts, who run for separate
ownership interests, each galloped 1 ¼ miles and remain on schedule to leave New York early Sunday
morning and arrive at Pletcher’s Monmouth barn by mid-morning.
Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow arrived at Monmouth on Friday afternoon after his van ride
and the Calumet Farm’s color bearer settled in nicely on the backside. Trainer
D. Wayne Lukas won the 1995 Haskell with Serena’s Song, a member of the National Museum and Racing of Hall of Fame and
Monmouth’s Hall of Champions. She is one of only two fillies to win the
Haskell, along with 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.
Trainer Dale Romans said that the graded stakes
placed Pick of the Litter, who will
give Crossed Sabres Farm owner Carolyn Vogel her first starter in a Grade 1
race, will arrive on the backside on race day. “He’s leaving here at 5:30
tomorrow morning,” Romans said. “Everything is fine and he continues to do
really well. Everything is good to go.”
Easy Goer stakes winner Power Broker, who jetted in from Southern California on Thursday
afternoon, was out on Monmouth’s main track Saturday morning for a 1 ½ miles
gallop. Jimmy Barnes, assistant trainer to Bob Baffert, who is supervising the
colt’s preparations, said, “He gets over this track really nicely. He schooled
in the paddock before the second race yesterday afternoon and did very well.
We’re ready and just waiting for the race.”
1 ½ miles at Saratoga and trainer Rudy Rodriguez
said the Jerome and Gotham Stakes winner will ship to New Jersey on Sunday morning. “I may share a
van with Dale Romans and am still trying to work that out,” said Rodriguez.
“I’m happy with the way he’s coming up to the race and so far, so good.”