Illness Keeps Rock Hard Ten at Monmouth

Monmouth Park track report
Rock Hard Ten, who finished sixth behind Lion Heart as the 4-5 favorite in Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), was still at Monmouth Park Wednesday morning, and will not ship home to California until he fully recovers from a slight illness that surfaced after the race.

"He was full of mucous on Monday," said trainer Kelly Breen, who is hosting the 3-year-old colt in his Barn 12 on the Monmouth backside. "He was supposed to be on the plane Tuesday that took the other horses back to California, but Jason (Rock Hard Ten's trainer Jason Orman) decided to leave him here until he fully recovers."

Rock Hard Ten, a dark bay colt by Kris S., out of the Mr. Prospector mare Tersa, is owned by Mercedes Stable and Madeleine Paulson. He ran second in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and fifth in the Belmont (gr. I) this spring, and in his race before the Haskell, won the Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.

In the Haskell, Rock Hard Ten put pressure on the front-running Lion Heart early, but then faded entering the far turn. Jockey Corey Nakatani did not urge him in the stretch, when it was obvious he was not going to be in the money.

After the Haskell, Orman took some of the blame for the horse's showing, saying it was likely the effects of the colt's busy schedule were showing.

"We were just asking too much of this horse," Orman said. "We should have given him some more time off. We've shipped him across the country four times now, and that's too much."

Groom Jose Mejia, who accompanied Rock Hard Ten to Monmouth, has stayed on to care for the horse. He said the colt has been walking under the shedrow the last two mornings.