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Aug 12, 2005

Bailey, Baffert "Rule" Haskell


Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - Roman Ruler, ridden by Jerry Bailey, overtook

 Sun King down the stretch to win Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational at

 Monmouth Park. The victory also gave trainer Bob Baffert his third win in the Haskell.

Baffert earlier won the Haskell in 2001 with Point Given and repeated in 2002 with

War Emblem.

A son of Fusaichi Pegasus, Roman Ruler covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49 4/5 and

defeated Sun King by 1 1/4 lengths.

Sun King set the pace around the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch. Pressing

 the pace was Joey P, along with Park Avenue Ball and Roman Ruler.

Heading into the final turn Sun King was joined by Roman Ruler and Joey P on the

 lead, but Roman Ruler drew even with Sun King coming out of the turn and moved

 in front at the furlong pole.

Roman Ruler hit the wire first, followed by Sun King and Park Avenue Ball. Rounding

out the order finish was Chekhov, Palladio, Papi Chullo and Joey P. Golden Man was

 a raceday scratch.

Owned by Fog City Stable, Roman Ruler appears to be rebounding from injuries

 suffered early this year. He was third in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile and captured

the Dwyer Stakes last month at Belmont Park. The win added $600,000 to Roman Ruler's

 bankroll, which now totals more than $1 million.

Roman Ruler returned $4.20, $3.00 and $2.40. Sun King paid $4.00 and $3.00, and

Park Avenue Ball paid $2.60 for show.

This was the second straight year that the expected favorite was unable to run in the

Haskell due to injury, as Afleet Alex was withdrawn last month after undergoing surgery

 for a hairline fracture. In 2004 Smarty Jones was retired before the race because of injury.

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