Classic Contenders' Puck, winner of the recent Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park, turned in a solid six-furlong work in 1:13 at the Jersey Shore track Thursday morning in preparation for the $1 million Haskell Invitaitonal on Aug. 4.
The son of Mr. Greeley, who also captured the Unbridled Stakes at Calder, is one of only four or five who are currently pointing for the Haskell, the others being Came Home, Magic Weisner, and possibly Running Tide, Nothing Flat, and Easyfromthegitgo. The Monmouth racing office also lists Swaps runner-up Like a Hero as a possible starter.
Puck's work was just what trainer Bill White was looking for. "Before he left for Monmouth, he had a similar work at Calder in 1:15," he said. "So, I told Juan (exercise rider Arias), with Monmouth being a faster track, to expect something like 1:13 and change. He's right where he needs to be. We'll give him an easy half-mile work, in about :50 and change, three or four days before the race."
Puck was clocked in fractions of :36, :48, and 1:01, before coming his home his final eighth in :12 flat. Monmouth clocker Gaitha Artis said he went "nice and easy, just breezing along."