Haskell Stakes Preview Day features three graded stakes plus Pegasus Stakes


OCEANPORT – Three graded stakes races and the Pegasus Stakes for 3-year-olds highlight a 14-race card on June 18 for Monmouth Park’s inaugural Haskell Stakes Preview Day.

The $150,000 Pegasus Stakes, at a mile-and-a-sixteenth, serves as Monmouth Park’s prep race for the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Stakes on July 23, according to a press release.

Headlining the Haskell Stakes Preview Day are the Grade 3 $150,000 Salvator Mile for 3-year-olds and up; the Grade 3 $150,000 Eatontown Stakes for fillies and mares, 3 and up, going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf; and the Grade 3 $150,000 Monmouth Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at a mile-and-an-eighth on the turf.

The four stakes races will go as the final four races on the card as part of an all-stakes Pick 4.

“Clearly this is the best card we have put on this year and one of the best in quite some time across all divisions,” said John Heims, Monmouth Park’s director of racing and racing secretary. “If Haskell Preview Day turns out as we expect, it should make for a blockbuster Haskell Day.”

Hot Rod Charlie, most recently second in the Dubai World Cup on March 26, will make his return in the Salvator Mile for trainer Doug O’Neill. He is one of three Grade 1 winners in the seven-horse Salvator Mile field, a group that includes Mind Control and Shirl’s Speight.

Joe Bravo, Monmouth Park’s 13-time riding champion, is listed to ride on the card, as are out-of-towners Florent Geroux, Manny Franco, Jose Lezcano, Mike Smith and John Velazquez.

The Pegasus Stakes has drawn a field of nine, including the Brad Cox-trained Home Brew, recent Long Branch Stakes winner Dash Attack, trained by Ken McPeek, and Electability from Chad Brown’s barn.

An even dozen starters are listed for the Monmouth Stakes, including the Danny Gargan-trained Tax, a multiple graded stakes winner, and Hidden Stash, who was on the Triple Crown trail last year for trainer Vickie Oliver, finishing 14th in the Kentucky Derby.

Eight are entered for the Eatontown Stakes, including last year’s race winner Vigilantes Way; Whimsical Muse, who won the Miss Liberty Stakes for trainer Kelly Breen on May 30 at Monmouth Park; and Chad Brown-trainees Lemista and Fluffy Socks.

The July 23 Haskell Day card includes the Grade 1 $600,000 United Nations at a mile-and-three-eighths on the turf for 3 year olds and up; the Grade 3 $400,000 Monmouth Cup for 3-year-olds and up at a mile-and-an-eighth; the Grade 3 $400,000 Molly Pitcher for fillies and mares 3 and up at a mile-and-a-sixteenth, and the Grade 3 $200,000 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes for fillies and mares 3 and up at a mile-and-an-eighth on the turf.

First race post time on Saturday, June 18, is 12:15 p.m.