A winner of three consecutive races, Haynesfield looks to further establish himself as one of the top New York-based 3-year-olds when he takes on a short field in the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 at Aqueduct.
Owned by Tuttle Bird Stable, Haynesfield will face just five rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway, which serves as the local prep for the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 7.
Haynesfield drew the rail in the inner track event and therefore will likely be sent to the front by Ramon Dominguez, as he was in his 4 1/2-length maiden score at Belmont and a 5 1/4-length Damon Runyon Stakes triumph at Aqueduct, both in wire-to-wire fashion. The son of Speightstown—Nothing Special, by Tejabo showed another dimension when coming from off the pace to take the Count Fleet Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths Jan. 3, also at Aqueduct.
Haynesfield, bred in New York by Barry Weisbord and Margaret Santulli, has worked three times for trainer Steve Asmussen since the Count Fleet, most recently turning in a four-furlong breeze in :50.24 Feb. 2. He will carry top weight of 122 pounds.
Vinery Stables and Singer Stables’ Peace Town is the only other stakes winner in the field. The son of Peace Rules is coming off a half-length victory in the Maryland Juvenile Championship Dec. 27 at Laurel. Julian Pimentel will ride for Michael Trombetta.
Perhaps the most intriguing Whirlaway entrant is Anthony Mitola’s Hehasnosay, who makes his sophomore debut after winning two of three starts in 2008. It was Hehasnosay’s two-turn allowance score at Philadelphia Park Dec. 15 that raised eyebrows. The Harlan's Holiday colt came from the clouds under Dominguez to get up by a neck in that one, showing a tremendous turn of foot after seemingly out of contention at the top of the lane. Eddie Castro will be in the irons for the first time.
Also worth mentioning is Zayat Stables’ Zooger, who broke his maiden going two turns at Philly Park Jan. 5. Tony Dutrow trains the son of Hold That Tiger.