Led by the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) July 29, Monmouth Park | BloodHorse.com Track Profile">Monmouth Park will offer a stakes schedule worth $6 million including 17 graded events for the 2012 racing season.
Among the notable changes to the calendar are the return of the Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 30, the Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 4, and the Monmouth Cup (gr. II) July 7. Another significant change is the placement of the Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II), which now will be run on Haskell Day.
In addition to the Molly Pitcher, Haskell Day will also feature two other graded events (Oceanport Stakes and the Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes, both grade III turf events), as well as three $100,000 stakes races.
Last year’s Haskell attracted Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Shackleford and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Ruler On Ice. The winner, however, was Coil, owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman and trained by Bob Baffert. Shackleford, the 3-2 favorite, finished second and Ruler On Ice third.
Getting an upgrade for the 2012 meet is the $200,000 Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIT) June 10, which will serve once again as a prep race for the $500,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) July 7.