Multiple graded winner Musket Man, who made a name for himself during this year’s Triple Crown run, will miss Monmouth Park’s Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 2 and the rest of the racing season with a bone bruise in his left front foot.
“It’s nothing major,” said Derek Ryan, who conditions the colt for Eric Fein and Vic Carlson. “We could run him in the Haskell, but that extra kick he gives in the stretch probably won’t be there. It wouldn’t be fair to him.
“Instead, he’ll go to the Vinery in Ocala (Florida) where he’ll get some rest for this year,” Ryan said. “We’ll bring him back at Tampa next year and pick out five or six races for a 4-year-old campaign. What those races will be, I’m not sure, it’s way too early. Dubai could be a possibility. The main goal, with the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill, is to get to the Classic (gr. I).”
With five wins and three third in eight career starts, Musket Man, a Yonaguska colt, has earned $893,600 for Eric Fein and Vic Carlson.
A $15,000 purchase out of the Keeneland September yearling sale on the eighth day of the 15-day 2007 sale, Musket Man jumped into the Triple Crown fray with back-to-back wins in the March 14 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) and April 4 Illinois Derby (gr. II). Sent off at 19-1 in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Musket Man was a strong third behind Mine That Bird and Pioneerof the Nile . In his last start he was third behind Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Bred in Kentucky by Jim Nelson and Sergio De Sousa, Musket Man is out of the Fortunate Prospect mare Fortuesque.
But even with “the big horse” out of the Haskell, Ryan won’t have to miss the centerpiece of the Monmouth Park racing season, as he has Bunker Hill ready to go in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Bunker Hill, a colt by Trippi , worked morning of July 5 at Monmouth, going five furlongs in :59 3/5, best of 37 on the worktab.
“We worked him in blinkers today for the first time,” said Ryan. “Carmouche (jockey Kendrick) has ridden him three times and kept saying to put blinkers on him. It looks like he was probably right because he worked great today. He’ll wear blinkers in the Haskell. Right now, I’m not sure if he’ll run before the Haskell. I’m leaning toward working him up to the race.”
From eight outings Bunker Hill sports a record of 3-3-0 for earnings of $195,804. He is a stakes winner over the Monmouth main track, taking the 2008 Continental Mile before winning a stakes at Delaware. Last time out, he was second in the Red Legend Stakes at Charles Town, beaten seven lengths by Big Drama, who is also expected for the Aug. 2 Haskell.