Roman Ruler leads growing Haskell field.

Roman Ruler leads growing Haskell field.


Haskell Field Continues to Grow

They're coming from as far as 3,000 miles to as near as 3,000 feet, and they're coming in droves. It is no surprise that the prospective field for the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 7 is growing by the day since Afleet Alex's defection, and could now draw as many as 13 starters.

As of Saturday morning, there are seven likely starters and six possible starters for the 1 1/8-mile race. Two of the leading contenders, who could very well be the top two betting choices, are California invaders Roman Ruler, winner of the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) in his last start, and Surf Cat, recent winner of the Swaps Stakes (gr. II).

The other confirmed starters are locally based Park Avenue Ball and Saratoga shipper Chekhov, the one-two finishers in the Long Branch Stakes (gr. III); the Nick Zito-trained Indy Storm, fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I); recent maiden winner Papi Chullo; and Monmouth's top 3-year-old sprinter, Joey P., who failed in his first attempt at two turns.

Zito said he may decide to run Leonard Richards (gr. III) winner Sun King in the Haskell (both he and Indy Storm are owned by Tracy Farmer) after the colt's solid work at Saratoga Saturday. Zito said he and Farmer will make a decision Monday or Tuesday.

Those considered possible are the Ohio Derby (gr. II) one-two finishers, Palladio and Magna Graduate, Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner High Limit, Round Table winner Devilment, Swaps runner-up Dover Dere, and Leonard Richards runner-up Golden Man.