Champion Good Magic (Curlin) tops a field of seven as the 6-5 morning-line favorite for Sunday’s $ 1 million GI betfair.com Haskell Invitational S. at Monmouth Park, a “Win and You’re In” event for the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs Nov. 3. The chestnut, who drew post six for Sunday’s event, finished second to eventual Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy) in the GI Kentucky Derby May 5 and was fourth when last seen in the GI Preakness S. May 19.
“He definitely had those two tough races back-to-back and we gave him a little time off. He needed that to recharge his batteries,” said trainer Chad Brown. “We had the Haskell in mind for him right after the Preakness and he’s been training very well for it. Running off a layoff doesn’t bother him.”
Bravazo (Awesome Again), the only horse besides Justify to compete in all three Triple Crown races, also returns in this spot. Sixth in both the Derby and the GI Belmont S. June 9, the Calumet Farm homebred was second in the Preakness. He will exit stall five Sunday and is the second choice on the morning-line at 3-1.
“This is the next logical spot, a major Grade I race for 3-year-olds, so if you’ve got a horse who is healthy and ready to run this is the spot,” said Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who won the race with Serena’s Song in 1995. “Not every horse makes it through the whole Triple Crown unscathed. He made all three races. He’s a very tough, nice horse. He’s actually getting better with maturity and I expect a very good effort from him.”
The rest of the field is as follows: Lone Sailor (Majestic Warrior), post one, 5-1; Navy Commander (Poseidon’s Warrior), post two, 12-1; Roaming Union (Union Rags), post three, 10-1; Core Beliefs (Quality Road), post four, 4-1; Golden Brown (Offlee Wild), post seven, 15-1.