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2015 Haskell Undercard Results

Bradester returns after the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G2).

American Pharoah wins the Haskell

Date: 08/02/2015

The record 60,983 fans who came out to Monmouth Park on Sunday afternoon for the Haskell Invitational to witness American Pharoah also enjoyed 5 stakes races on the undercard. Spectators and participants enjoyed a partly cloudy day with temperatures in the mid 80's, with a fast main track and firm turf course. Track chairman Dennis Drazin said, “What an amazing day. We were prepared and it showed. I want to express my gratitude to the entire Zayat family and to trainer Bob Baffert for giving New Jersey the biggest day in horse racing the Garden State has ever seen. I also want to thank the entire Monmouth Park team, who have worked tirelessly to make today the great success that it was. And, of course, I want to thank the fans, who truly made this an event that won’t soon be forgotten.”

The $200,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G2), formerly run as the Meadowlands Cup, featured a field of 6 older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Salvator Mile (G3) winner Bradester was sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 3-1 Pants on Fire, 7th in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1), and 7-2 Valid, third in the Salvator Mile.

Jockey Corey Lanerie sent Bradester to the lead and he set easy fractions of 24.46, 47.81, and 1:11.38. Valid, who staked the pace in 3rd early, attempted to close to no avail as Bradester drew off to win by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:42.43. It was a long 4 3/4 lengths back to 10-1 Freestyler third.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Bradester in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Eddie Kenneally said, "He loves Monmouth. The scratch of Protonico affected the race for everyone. He was the class of the race and certainly not having hin in there made it easier for everybody."

Right: Bradester in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Corey Lanerie said, "He went to the front and made my job really easy. Once I got to the front, I just had to nurse him along and keep him quiet so I would have something to finish."

The $150,000 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (G3) featured a field of 8 older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Eatontown (G3) winner I'm Already Sexy was the 11-10 favorite over 5-2 Testa Rossi, 5th in the Beaugay (G3), and 5-1 Cushion, 6th in the Ms. Liberty last out.

14-1 Means Wel and 16-1 Baffle Me dueled for the lead through fractions of 24.49, 48.14, and 1:11.57 while stalked by I'm Already Sexy. Baffle Me continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:35.57 before tiring, as 10-1 Casual Smile, 7th early, came through between horses to win by 1 1/4 lengths over I'm Already Sexy in 1:47.12 over the firm course. It was another 3/4 length back to Testa Rossi third.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Casual Smile heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Abel Castellano Jr. said, "I had a lot of confidence going into the stretch with a lot of horse left. I found a very small hole between horses to get through and had a lot of faith in my horse that she would get there."

Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite I'm Already Sexy returns after the race.

Immediately before the Haskell, a field of 7 older horses contested the $150,000 Oceanport Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Elkwood Stakes winner Kharafa was the 6-5 favorite over 2-1 Heart to Heart, 7th in the Poker (G3) at Belmont, and 9-2 Cage Fighter, 2nd in the Dixie (G2) at Pimlico.

Jockey Victor Espinoza sent heart to Heart to the lead immediately and he set fractions of 25.56, 48.46, and 1:11.27 while stalked by Cage Fighter. Into the lane, Heart to Heart opened up by 1 1/2 lengths through 1 mile in 1:34.59, and finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 13-1 Hothersal in 1:40.79. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Cage Fighter third, while favorite Kharafa was last.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Heart to Heart in the winner's circle. The Brian Lynch trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 16 starts, earning $435,307 for owner Terry Hamilton.

Right: Heart to Heart in the paddock before the race.

The $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes featured a field of 8 older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. 14-1 Delta Bluesman set the pace of 21.44 and 44.05 while as many as 2 lenths ahead of 12-1 Uptown Boy. Delta Bluesman opened up by 2 1/2 lengths at the 1/8 pole through 5f in 56.22, bu 7-2 Wildcat Red, 3th early, came through late under Paco Lopez and outfinished 7-2 Stallwalkin' Dude by a head in 1:09.01. It was just a nose back to pacesetter Delta Bluesman third, while 9-5 favorite Catron was 7th.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Wildcat Red in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Paco Lopez said, "My horse was really quick. I didn't need to make the lead. I rode him in Florida and I know this horse. He's a fighter. He can go inside, he can go outside, and was okay going in between horses. he's got a lot of heart, he's really a nice horse."

Right: Down the stretch in the Teddy Drone with eventual winner Wildcat Red in the center.

Kicking off the stakes action on Sunday was the $100,000 Lady's Secret Stakes with a field of 5 older fillies and mares going 1 mile 70 yards on the main track. 7-2 second choice Power of Snunner was loose on the lead through fractions of 23.53 and 47.07 while stalked by 6-1 Montana Native. On the far turn, Montana Native poked her head in front through 3/4 in 1:11.32, but 1-2 favorite Got Lucky, 3rd early, came out 3 wide for room and easily took command drawing off by 4 1/2 lengths over Power of Snunner in 1:40.16. It was anoher 1 3/4 lengths back to Montana Native third.

Results Chart from DRF

Left: Got Lucky in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Paco Lopez said, "The race was perfect. I put her into position and then got pushed a little by the one horse. I could tell she really wanted to go at the top of the stretch, and when I asked her, she just took off."

Right: Got Lucky in the post parade.

On to the 2015 Haskell results and photos

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