Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Papa Clem, who finished fourth, beaten a head for second, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is scheduled to arrive at
The son of Smart Strike, who also has seconds in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) will prep for the Haskell in the 1 1/16-mile Long Branch Stakes July 11. He has not run since finishing a disappointing seventh in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Gary Stute apparently has Papa Clem primed for his return, working him a half in :45 4/5, five furlongs in :59 3/5, and back-to-back seven-furlong drills in 1:27 4/5 and 1:25 3/5.
“We made our plans about a week ago,” Stute said. “Two works ago, he got a little tired, but his last work was real good, so we decided to come early and use the Long Branch as a prep rather than go right into the Haskell off a 2 1/2-month layoff. He’ll leave the barn (at Santa Anita) at about 2:30 in the morning and will arrive at Monmouth tomorrow afternoon. I'll likely work him on July 6.”
Papa Clem will take up residence in Wesley Ward’s barn, which currently houses five of the six Ward-trained horses who competed at Royal Ascot, including Queen Mary (Eng-II) winner Jealous Again, Windsor Castle winner Strike the Tiger, and Golden Jubilee (Eng-I) runner-up Cannonball.
The others definitely pointing for the Haskell are Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird and local horses Musket Man, Big Drama, and Atomic Rain. Possible starters include Rachel Alexandra, Charitable Man, Mythical Power, Our Edge, and Lord Justice.