Trainer Derek Ryan confirmed Oct. 13 that Musket Man will make his next start in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.
“He’ll have a pair of works and then ship to Kentucky on (Oct. 31),” said Ryan, a native of Ireland who’s been a Monmouth Park mainstay the past five years. “He came out of his last race fine and he’s doing well.”
His last effort was a runner-up finish in the Monmouth Cup (gr. II) on Oct. 9. Musket Man was kept down on the inside most of the way before angling four-wide for the stretch drive and falling a neck short of Etched in the 1 1/8-mile test.
“Everyone seemed to be riding Musket Man that day,” Ryan said. “I thought he’d be much the best, but that’s part of racing I guess.”
Jockey Eibar Coa came out of the race with the exact same conclusion.
“I think because I was the favorite a lot of the other riders were riding me and keeping us on the inside,” Coa said right after the Monmouth Cup.
From 14 career starts, 4-year-old Musket Man sports a record of 6-3-5 with earnings of $1,235,570. The son of Yonaguska out of the Fortunate Prospect mare Fortuesque earned graded victories in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) and Illinois Derby (gr. III) in 2009 before finishing third in Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I).