Notes and quotes from the G1 Haskell Invitational: Mandaloun

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(Mandaloun / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Monmouth Park media team:

Mandaloun of Juddmonte Farms slipped out of the beat to claim his first Class 1 victory in the 54th million dollar TVG.com Haskell Stakes race at Monmouth Park on Saturday following the disqualification of the first ever winner of the race, and with the triumph gave its owner / breeder, trainer and jockey their first scores in the prestigious 3-year-old race.

With the win, Mandaloun also secured an all-expenses-paid spot on the starting grid of the $ 6 million Breeders ‘Cup Classic on November 6 at Del Mar as part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In. “Challenge Series.

Mandaloun, who is conditioned by Eclipse Award winning coach Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, actually finished a nose behind Hot Rod Charlie over the 1 1/8 mile test.

But Hot Rod Charlie, ridden by Flavien Prat, was disqualified and placed last for apparently cutting heels with Midnight Bourbon after the eighth pole and knocking this horse down on the track while knocking down jockey Paco Lopez.

As a result of the investigation, the stewards elevated Kentucky Derby finalist Mandaloun to first place while placing Hot Rod Charlie last.

As a result of the incident, Follow Sea, the local Spendthrift Farm breed, was 18 length in third (and second) with 58-1 Longshot Antigravity 4 ½ lengths longer. He went from the fourth to the third.

“I had Hot Rod Charlie in mind,” Geroux said. “When Hot Rod Charlie came out, I decided to go inside. It was a very tough battle. Hot Rod Charlie was going to win by a neck and just at the end my horse came back and made it really close.

“Unfortunately for Hot Rod Charlie he walked in and Midnight Charlie cut his heels off, he was disqualified. I feel bad for Hot Rod Charlie’s connections because he had a tough race and Flavien Prat is a good friend of mine. I feel a little bad for him.

“Honestly, I didn’t know what happened until I came back and watched TV. It’s not the best way to win, but Mandaloun had a winning race and deserves it.

The Follow Sea formed by Todd Pletcher, which broke off the rail under Joel Rosario, took the lead early with honest fractions of 23.82, 47.32 and 1: 10.64 for six stages before relinquishing as he first ran in the company of stakes and tried two turns and the distance for the first time.

Hot Rod Charlie and Kentucky Derby finalist Mandaloun collided with a nose to the wire in the final time of 1: 47.38.

“We had a very good trip. I thought it was a lot like our trip to the Kentucky Derby, ”Cox said. “He was saving land. Florent did a good job to get outside of Follow Sea. Coming home I thought we had a great chance to win the race. I thought we had a winning race.

“We didn’t have our noses down on the wire, but it worked. I am proud of the effort and the performance. He has always been a good colt, he has always been very popular. He deserves a grade 1 win. He’s a 1st year horse and I’m glad it worked out today.

Cox, who won the Belmont Stakes in June with Essential Quality from Godolphin, said he was so focused on Mandaloun that he never saw Midnight Bourbon fall. He added that once he saw the replay of the race, he was certain that Hot Rod Charlie’s number would be withdrawn and Mandaloun would be declared the official winner.

Mandaloun, who prepared for the Haskell with a win at the TVG.com Pegasus Stakes in Monmouth in his last starts, is a son of Into Mischief from Kentucky and Empire Maker Brooch mare. With the winner’s share of $ 600,000 from the stock market, he improved his winnings to $ 1,651,252 and is 5-1-1 in eight starts.

“At the end of the day, I think Brad followed a really good plan. We had one on the track (in the TVG.com Pegasus Stakes), ”said Garrett O’Rourke, general manager of the US division of Juddmonte Farms. “He trained here as well and we are sitting here today, so we have to consider it a success.

“I know he’s a real first year horse. There is no coincidence in the way the horse runs. It’s good that the horse has justified how good a runner he is. He is a beautifully bred horse and he was extremely well prepared. We are extremely proud. It was an unusual race but we still feel like he ran a winning race and it tastes the same.

Hot Rod Charlie’s coach Doug O’Neill was unavailable for comment. Prat said: “I am really proud of his efforts. He just cut the heels. That’s it.”

Lopez, who was taken off the track on a stretcher, was treated on-site by Dr Angelo Chinnici, medical director of Monmouth Park.

“Paco has a soft tissue injury to his right knee and ankle. He was alert and oriented, ”said Dr Chinnici. “He was not taken to hospital. He took off (the rest of the map) as a precaution. He said he was very disappointed because he thought he had a ton of horses.

Midnight Bourbon suffered no serious injuries during the fall.


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