Competitive Pegasus Tops Haskell Preview Day at Monmouth

Hades | Ryan Thompson


A trio of Grade III winners and the second-best New Jersey-bred 3-year-old in training are among a field of eight set to head to the post for Saturday's NYRABets Pegasus S., the final local prep for the GI NYRABets GI Haskell Invitational S. in five weeks' time.

The locally co-owned Hades (Awesome Slew) ran his record to a perfect three-for-three in the GIII Holy Bull S. Feb. 3, defeating the running-on Domestic Product (Practical Joke) and Eclipse Award-winning 'Rising Star' Fierceness (City of Light). After skipping what turned out to be a scratch-depleted GII Fountain of Youth S., won by recent GI Belmont S. hero Dornoch (Good Magic), Hades was a well-beaten fifth to Fierceness in the GI Curlin Florida Derby and one final crack at a Derby berth went by the boards when the gelding could do no better than seventh in the GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. Apr. 13.

Trainer Joe Orseno thinks he has Hades in good form for the return to action.

“After the Lexington, we found that he had a minor issue that was easily correctible,” said the conditioner. “So we gave him a little time off and worked on him. We believe we have him where we want him again. I'm pretty excited about seeing him race again. We're hoping this is a good prep for the Haskell.”

Domestic Product earned his ticket to the GI Kentucky Derby by virtue of his victory in the GIII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby in March, but he was only 13th in Louisville. The steady workmate of Sierra Leone (Gun Runner), the Klaravich homebred was under consideration for the GI Belmont S. for a time, but has been re-routed to this considerably easier test.

“He's fresh right now, so we have that going for us. And the distance is perfect for him,” said Luis Cabrera, who oversees the Brown string at Monmouth. “Chad has been talking about trying to get him to the Haskell so we'll see how he does Saturday.”

The hulking Uncle Heavy (Social Inclusion), upset winner of the GIII Withers S. in February, seems the least likely of the graded trio, and would need to improve for his fifth in the GII Wood Memorial S. and sixth–at less than 8-1–in the GI Preakness S. last time.

Sea Streak (Sea Wizard) is the best sophomore bred in the Garden State not named Book'em Danno and exits a 7 1/4-length romp in the May 11 Long Branch S. Jairo Rendon looks to make it three wins from three rides aboard the gelding for trainer Eddie Owens, Jr.

Tuscan Sky (Vino Rosso) won the first two starts of his career from close range, but he was disappointing when seventh in the Wood last time. Todd Pletcher adds blinkers this time around.

In the afternoon's three graded events at the Jersey Shore, Spirit and Glory (Ire) (Cotai Glory {GB}) rates a narrow favorite in the GIII Eatontown S., a race in which she was an even fifth last year; Grand Sonata (Medaglia d'Oro) squares off with English Bee (English Channel) and 2022 GI United Nations S. hero Adhamo (Ire) (Intello {Ger}) in the GIII Monmouth S.; and the afternoon wraps up with the GIII Salvator Mile S., featuring the return to action of last year's GI Jockey Club Gold Cup victor Bright Future (Curlin).

In New York, Flying Connection (Connect) drops out of a third in the GI Derby City Distaff S. and clashes with course-and-distance GIII Distaff S. winner Shidabhuti (Practical Joke) and GIII Vagrancy S. victress Leave No Trace (Outwork) in the GII Bed O' Roses S.

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