KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER NYQUIST AND PREAKNESS WINNER EXAGGERATOR SQUARE OFF IN HASKELL INVITATIONAL AT MONMOUTH PARK THIS SUNDAY, JULY 31 LIVE AT 5 PM ET ON NBC
Classic berth at stake on Broadcast of “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win And You’re In – Presented By Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing”
NEW YORK (July 29, 2016) – Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator will square off again on Sunday, July 31 as the 2016 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing” continues with the live broadcast on NBC at 5:00 p.m. ET from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J, with an outstanding renewal of the $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational, an automatic qualifier for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Sunday’s program is the fourth of nine telecasts in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing," on NBC and NBCSN, featuring 16 “Win And You’re In” races plus other major stakes on the road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park, and televised by NBC Sports Group. The series will also be streamed live on NBCSports.com and NBC Sports app. Winners of these Challenge races, which combined offer more than $10 million in purses, automatically qualify for a spot in the Breeders’ Cup.
Tom Hammond hosts the Haskell Invitational broadcast, and will be joined by Hall of Fame jockey and analyst Jerry Bailey, analyst Randy Moss, reporter Kenny Rice and Handicapper Eddie Olczyk. Daily Racing Form’s Matt Bernier will also serve as a handicapper.
Reddam Racing’s 6-5 favorite Nyquist comes into the Haskell, which will be run at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds, making his first start since finishing third in the Preakness after setting a grueling pace during the first three quarters a mile. He could not sustain the drive into the stretch and was passed by Exaggerator. Trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist was undefeated in his first eight career starts including the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Florida Derby.
Exaggerator, the 5-2 second choice trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by his younger brother Kent, showed his talents over a wet track winning the Santa Anita Derby and was a fast-closing second behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby before turning the tables in the Preakness with a 3 ½ length win on a sloppy racetrack. Owned by Big Chief Racing, Head of the Plains Partners LLC, and Rocker O Ranch et al., Exaggerator was a disappointing 11th as the favorite in the Belmont Stakes.
With the addition of Winchell Thoroughbreds, Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables’ 4-1 Gun Runner, the first three finishers from this year’s Kentucky Derby have been entered in the Haskell. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Gun Runner, ridden Sunday by Florent Geroux, has won four of seven career starts, including front-running scores in the Louisiana and Arkansas Derbies.
The last two winners of the Haskell, Bayern and American Pharoah, went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Both horses were trained by Bob Baffert, who has saddled eight Haskell winners. This year, Baffert brings in the late developing 3-1 American Freedom, a winner of three of four starts including the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico and the Iowa Derby on July 1. American Freedom will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.
Dennis Drazin’s Sunny Ridge, winner of the Withers Stakes in March, and ridden by Nik Juarez, and Live Oak Plantation’s Awesome Slew, with Paco Lopez aboard, third in the Pegasus Stakes on June 19, complete the Haskell field.
Official release from Breeders' Cup