Dullahan on Schedule for Haskell

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Toyota Blue Grass Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby third place finisher Dullahan remains right on schedule to start next in the Grade 1 $1 million Haskell Invitational.

            “He’s doing great,” said trainer Dale Romans when reached by phone at his base at Churchill Downs on Friday morning. “He’s going to work tomorrow and everything is good. He’ll ship in to Monmouth next week but I’m not sure yet on what day.”

            The 45th edition of the Haskell will be contested over Monmouth Park’s main track at 1 1/8 miles on Sunday, July 29. While the field is still taking shape and post positions won’t be drawn until the Thursday before the race, Romans expects a big effort from Dullahan no matter whom his rivals are.

            “He’s going to be very live in there,” said Romans, who added that he anticipates arriving in New Jersey on the day before the Haskell to saddle the Donegal Racing color bearer.

            Dullahan last raced in the Belmont Stakes on June 9 but didn’t have the best of trips and disappointed as the 2-1 favorite. Regular rider Kent Desormeaux was not in the irons that day and Romans confirmed on Friday that the Hall of Fame jockey and Dullahan will be reunited in the Haskell. Desormeaux was aboard for both of Dullahan’s Grade 1 wins, which include the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity along with the Blue Grass, both on Keeneland’s Polytrack.

            Dullahan, named for a headless harbinger of death in Irish fairy lore, has been breezing over the Churchill Downs strip since the Belmont and shows a solid pattern of works.