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Jockey Martin Garcia celebrates aboard Coil after winning the 2011 Haskell Invitational
The $1 million Resorts Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) is the highlight race of the Monmouth Park meeting, featuring some of the top 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles over the main track in Oceanport, New Jersey. A crowd of 38,895 enjoyed a sunny Sunday afternoon with temperatures in the upper 80's. Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Shackleford was sent off as the 3-2 favorite in the field of 8, off his 5th place finish in the Belmont (G1) last out. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Coil, a close second in the Swaps (G2) after winning the Affirmed Handicap (G3), both at Hollywood Park, and 4-1 third choice Pants on Fire, winner of the Pegasus Stakes (G3), the major local prep for the Haskell.
Coil passes Shackleford in the stretch.
Jockey Joe Bravo sent 20-1 Joe Vann to the lead first time past the stands and he set fractions of 23.38, 47.02, and 1:10.68 over the fast track while being stalked by Shackleford and 26-1 Concealed Identity. On the turn, Joe Vann tired allowing Shackleford to inherit the lead into the stretch. The favorite continued to lead to the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:35.44, but Coil, who was last through the first 3/4 mile, came out 5 wide into the lane and closed with a rush to get up by a neck in 1:48.20. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to late-running 7-1 Ruler on Ice third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Coil Garcia 8.40 4.80 3.60 5 Shackleford Castanon 3.20 2.60 6 Ruler on Ice Dominguez 4.00 Winning Time: 1:48.20 $2 Exacta 1-5 31.40 $1 Trifecta 1-5-6 71.10 $1 Superfecta 1-5-6-7 470.30
Left: Coil in the winner's circle. His trainer Bob Baffert, winning his 5th Haskell, said, "He didn't break well and at that point I thought the race was over. Down the backstretch, I thought he was going to have to be like his dad, Point Given, to win. In the stretch, when he was passing Shackleford, it was almost like I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The ride this kid put on this horse was unbelievable." Owner Mike Pegram added, "I'd be shocked it we didn't go (to the Travers). This was his first race on dirt. Where else are you going to race on dirt?"
Right: Coil back in the barns after the race.
Left: Coil warms up before the race. His jockey Martin Garcia said, "I took him off the fence going up the backstretch, because that didn't seem to be the best place today. I was sitting on a ton of horse turning for home. When I got to Shackleford my horse kind of waited. He tends to do that when he makes the lead. I didn't want to move too soon. I just kept getting into him. I knew I had Shackleford, but my horse made it interesting."
Right: Coil in the paddock before the race with owner Mike Pegram on the far left.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Shackleford acting up in the post parade. His jockey Jesus Castanon said, "I had a good trip. He ran a good race like he always does. This is the way he likes to run. He was sitting in a perfect spot. I was pleased with his effort. He gave me his best. When the other horse came up to me, my horse felt him and was fighting back."
Right: Third place finisher Ruler on Ice in the post parade. His trainer Kelly Breen said "It's on to the Travers for Ruler On Ice. Jose (Valdivia Jr.) said he was good. They just kind of quickened going to the third quarter and it took him a while to get going."
On to the Haskell undercard results and photos
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