Walden said participating in the Haskell draw was like old times for him."Winning the Haskell was one of my fondest memories," he said. "It was probably the best week of my training career. Ecton Park won the Jim Dandy and Menifee won the Haskell the same day, and Victory Gallop won the Whitney the week before."Ward couldn't be happier with Strong Contender's post. "It's a perfect draw for us," he said. "It puts us close to the fence, and this horse has lick when you want it. It gives Edgar a chance to see what's happening and to choose his tactics. He knows him so well, and that's a plus for us."
Strong Contender missed the Triple Crown events, which may have been to his advantage, Ward said."He's a May 15 foal, and we've picked his spots so far," Ward said. "He's coming up to this race as good as we can get him. Now he'll show us whether he's got the talent to compete in grade I company."Praying for Cash is the main local hope, and Breen said the Haskell is a very special race to him, his owners, and his jockey.
"This is our Kentucky Derby," said Breen. "Everybody connected with this horse is from New Jersey, so this is the race we'd all love to win."Tom Albertrani, who trains Deputy Glitters, said he was fine with Post 7."He's got some early speed," the trainer said, "and he should be running into that first turn to get position."Albertrani noted Deputy Glitters put in a big effort to win the Ohio Derby last out, and is the only horse in the field to win at the Haskell distance of 1 1/8 mile.Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Flashy Bull, said that the inside post works for his horse, a son of 1994 Haskell winner Holy Bull. "I like the post," McLaughlin said. "It's much better to be on the rail here than out in eight or nine. He's got enough speed to leave, and we might have to send him."Flashy Bull was 14th in the Kentucky Derby, when he started from Post 20, and last out finished third behind Deputy Glitters in the Ohio Derby."He's run very well in most of his races," McLaughlin. "Now we hope we get lucky on Sunday."Post/Horse/TrainerJockey/Odds1--Flashy Bull Kiaran McLaughlin Jose Santos 5-1
2--Awfully Smart Alan Goldberg Ramon Domingiez 10-1
3--Strong Contender John Ward Edgar Prado 5-2
4--Little Cliff Nick Zito Jose Lezcano 20-1
5--Praying for Cash Kelly Breen Joe Bravo 8-1
6--Victory Lake Alan Goldberg Eddie Castro 30-1
7--Deputy Glitters Tom Albertrani Rene Douglas 4-1
8--Electrify Eddie Plesa Abel Castellano 10-1
9--Bluegrass Cat Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 2-1
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