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Jul 30, 2010

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners headline Haskell



Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - The two leading three-year-old colts in the country top a field of eight for Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Preakness champ Lookin At Lucky will be joined by six others in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Lookin At Lucky will be making his first start since winning the Preakness on May 15. The 2009 champion two-year-old male will be ridden by Martin Garcia who guided the colt to victory in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. The pair will start from the inside post.

Lookin At Lucky, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, finished sixth as the 6-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby when he also broke from the one hole.

"He keeps drawing the rail," Baffert commented by phone.

Installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Sunday, Lookin At Lucky has won seven of 10 career starts for more than $2.1 million.

"He looks like he's ready for a big race. It's not an easy spot, but from here on out none of them are easy," Baffert noted. "We're all in the business to see who has the best horse. When you can beat them it makes it even better. Everyone in the race thinks they have the best horse."

Baffert won the Haskell with Roman Ruler (2005), War Emblem (2002), and Point Given (2001).

Super Saver, trained by Todd Pletcher, will also be making his first start since the Preakness when he was eighth as the 9-5 favorite. The colt is the 3-1 co-favorite with local winner Trappe Shot and will break from post six with Calvin Borel again riding.

Owned by WinStar Farm, Super Saver was third in this year's Tampa Bay Derby and second in the Arkansas Derby prior to capturing the Run for the Roses at 8-1.

The colt has career earnings of better than $1.8 million with three wins in eight starts.

"We feel very good about his fitness level," said Elliott Walden, VP and racing manager for WinStar Farm, "and how he's coming up to the Haskell.

"I think at this time of year in the three-year-old crop, it's a new season. The race is going to be run for the three-year-old champion in the second half of the year. You have a few horses on even ground, Super Saver being one of them. That's one of the reasons we're going to Monmouth. We want it to be settled on the track."

WinStar Farm horses Bluegrass Cat and Any Given Saturday won the Haskell in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

Trappe Shot won Monmouth's Long Branch Stakes earlier this month. The chestnut colt will be ridden by Alan Garcia from the far outside post.

"He's doing great," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "We know he likes it (Monmouth)."

Here is the complete field for the Haskell in post position order: Lookin At Lucky, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Afleet Again, Joe Bravo, 12-1; Ice Box, Jose Lezcano, 9-2; First Dude, Ramon Dominguez, 6-1; Our Dark Knight, Elvis Trujillo, 15-1; Super Saver, Calvin Borel, 3-1; Uptowncharlybrown, Rajiv Maragh, 15-1 and Trappe Shot, Alan Garcia, 3-1.

Last year's Haskell was won by eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. In 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ Big Brown captured the race on his way to being voted that year's champion three-year-old colt.

The Haskell, the track's premier race, will be televised on ABC with a post- time of 5:45 p.m. (et).

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