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2014 Haskell Undercard Results

Majestic River returns after the Molly Pitcher Stakes (G2).

Bayern wins the Haskell

Date: 07/27/2014

The 35,983 fans who came out to Monmouth Park on Sunday afternoon for the Haskell Invitational enjoyed 5 stakes races on the undercard. Spectators and participants enjoyed a mostly sunny day with temperatures in the upper 80's, with a fast main track and firm turf course. Track chairman Dennis Drazin said, "We couldn't be more pleased on all fronts the fans, the employees, and especially the horses. This will be a day long remembered. It was a very enthusiastic crowd and you could not escape the buzz throughout the facility. The handle was outstanding, the racing was great, and for the most part, the weather cooperated."

Kicking off the stakes action on Sunday was the $200,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Monmouth Beach Stakes winner Natalie Victoria was sent off as the 3-2 favorite in the field of 7 over 3-1 Montana Native, second in the Obeah (G3), and 7-2 Zucchini Flower, fourth in the Obeah.

Jockey Jose Lezcano sent Natalie Victoria to the lead first time by and she set fractions of 24.25 and 47.72 while pressed by 9-2 Majestic River. On the far turn, Natalie Victoria tired as Majestic River took over the lead through 3/4 in 1:11.43. Kept to task by Rosie Napravnik, Majestic River powered away to a 2 1/2 length win over Montana Native in 1:43.11. It was another 3/4 length back to 33-1 Lucky Rag Doll third, while favorite Natalie Victoria was last.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Majestic River in the paddock. Jockey Rosie Napravnik said, "The race played out perfect. I got a great setup and she ran awesome. I had plenty of horse in the stretch."

Right: The horses break from the gate for the Molly Pitcher.

The $200,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G2), formerly run as the Meadowlands Cup, featured a field of 9 older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Long River, 7th in the Stephen Foster (G1) last out, was the 2-1 favorite over 3-1 Easter Gift, third in the Clark Handicap (G1), and 7-2 Pants on Fire, unraced since last of 16 in the Japan Cup Dirt (G1).

Jockey Jose Lezcano sent 6-1 Bradester to the lead through fractions of 24.03, 48.21, and 1:11.72 while stalked by 9-2 Valid. Entering the lane, Valid closed on the pacesetter, outfinishing Bradester by 1/2 a length in 1:41.43. It was a long 4 3/4 lengths back to Pants on Fire third, while favorite Long River was 5th.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Valid heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Marcus Vitali said, "Orlando did a great job. I told him to lay close to the pace, not to get too far behind the leader, and he did just that. My horse really showed up today." Jockey Orlando Bocachica added, "He ran rally good. Last time I rode him I went too fast and went head-to-head. This race I just let him go. Everything set up perfectly. He's a really great horse."

Right: Valid in the paddock before the race.

The $150,000 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (G3) featured a field of 10 older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Gallorette (G3) runner-up Watsdachances was the 9-5 favorite over 7-2 Emotional Kitten, 8th in the Gamely (G1), and 4-1 Irish Mission, second in the Belmont Gold Cup.

20-1 Nashly's Vow set early fractions of 24.09, 47.34, and 1:10.93 over the firm course while 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 13-1 She's Not lazy and 29-1 Lady Aspen. Nashly's Vow continued to lead to midstretch through 1 mile in 1:34.79 before tiring badly. 11-2 Starstruck, fifth early, came through between horses and outfinished Irish Mission to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:46.35. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to late-running favorite Watsdachances third.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Starstruck, who also won this event last year, in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Kerwin Clark said, "I've been watching the races all day and speed looked like it's been holding on turf, so I wanted to be as close as possible without using her. Around the turn, I wasn't sure if we'd be able to get through and I was just hoping it would split open. It did, and she ran well."

Right: Starstruck heads to the barn after the race.

Immediately before the Haskell, a field of 10 older horses contested the $150,000 Metropolitan Jets Oceanport Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Mshawish was sent off as the 2-1 favorite off his 8th place finish in the Champions Mile (G1) over 9-2 Guys Reward, third in the Firecracker (G2), and 5-1 Lochte, third in an allowance last out.

6-1 Fredericksburg battled for the lead with 9-1 Slim Shadey through fractions of 24.64, 48.73, and 1:10.72 while stalked by 6-1 Joe Tess. Fredericksburg continued to lead the 1/16 pole through 1 mile in 1:34.49, but Guys Reward, 5th early, came out for room and rallied late to win by 1 length in 1:40.48. It was another 3/4 length back to 16-1 Under Control third, while favorite Mshawish was 6th.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Guys Reward returns after the race. Winning trainer Dale Romans said, "I thought he was waiting a little closer than he usually does. But it looked like he needed to. He's just a good, old hard campaigner. When the horse is right, he gives you his all, and he did that today."

Right: Guys Reward in the winner's circle.

The $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes featured a field of 9 older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. 11-1 Black Hornet set quick fractions of 21.67 and 44.11 while stalked by 7-5 favorite Ribo Bobo and 4-1 Rainbow Heir. Black Hornet tired through the lane as Rainbow Heir took over, drawing clear late to win by 3 1/2 lengths over 12-1 Trickmeister in 1:09.02. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Ribo Bobo third.

Results Chart from DRF

Rainbow Heir in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Angel Serpa said, "I know the horse well. I rode him last time. I just tried to do the same thing. I spend a lot of time with Rainbow Heir every morning, I breeze him, I know him, and he gave me everything he had today. He's a real nice horse."

On to the 2014 Haskell results and photos

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