War Emblem Back in Haskell
Updated: Monday, July 29, 2002 2:04 PM
Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2002 9:14 PM
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston
War Emblem, back in consideration for the Haskell Invitational.
Trainer Bob Baffert informed Monmouth Park officials Saturday that War Emblem will definitely run in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Aug. 4.
Baffert originally was pointing the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner to the 1 1/8-mile race, but he and racing manager Dick Mulhall began having a change of heart after the colt was assigned topweight of 124 pounds. After the death of Thoroughbred Corp. owner Prince Ahmed Salman on July 21, War Emblem was removed from the Haskell picture, with the Pacific Classic named as his new target.
"I just received the final go-ahead from the royal family," Baffert said. "War Emblem will be shipped to Monmouth Park on Thursday."
The Thoroughbred Corp. won last year's Haskell Invitational with Point Given, who also carried 124 pounds to victory.
War Emblem, who has not started since his disastrous trip in the Belmont Stakes, looks to be the only speed in the Haskell, which has only three other confirmed starters – Magic Weisner, Puck, and Like a Hero. Came Home, whose status was changed from definite to questionable, now may run instead in the King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga, although he still has not been declared from the Haskell.
Baffert said he still plans to run War Emblem against older horses in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 25.
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