Lion Heart, who ran second to Smarty Jones in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is expected to top the field for the $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth on Saturday, July 17. The 1 1/16-mile Long Branch serves as the local prep race for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Sunday, Aug. 8.Trainer Patrick Biancone said Friday that Lion Heart will ship from Saratoga for the Long Branch the morning of the race.As far as the Haskell is concerned, Biancone said, "We'll see how he handles the track in the Long Branch and then make a decision on the race after that. He's had a nice break since the Preakness (May 15) and he's doing great."Lion Heart was scheduled to work Thursday at Saratoga, but the breeze was cancelled when the track came up very sloppy. "He'll work on Sunday," Biancone said. "We couldn't work Thursday because the track was no good, but we decided to go ahead and decide on the Long Branch."
Lion Heart, a chestnut colt by Tale of the Cat -- Satin Sunrise, by Mr. Leader, has earned $720,800 for owners Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor on a record of three wins and three seconds in seven starts. His only off-the-board effort came in the Preakness when he finished fourth, more than 13 lengths behind Smarty Jones.