The Haskell added another starter today with the announcement that Long Branch Stakes winner, Max Forever, trained by local trainer Ben Perkins, will compete, joining Funny Cide, Peace Rules, Sky Mesa, Excessivepleasure, and Kool Humor. Ohio Derby winner Wild and Wicked, Swaps winner During, and Congrats are considered possibles.The Jim Dandy is expected to draw the Dwyer one-two finishers, Strong Hope and Nacheezmo. Wild and Wicked is also a possibility for the Jim Dandy, as is Tafaseel, winner of his only two starts since shipping here from Dubai.
The 3-year-old stars were on parade Saturday morning at Saratoga, as Peace Rules and Sky Mesa worked 5 furlongs for next Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational, and Empire Maker worked 6 furlongs for the Jim Dandy Stakes the same day.Peace Rules, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes and Louisiana Derby, went his 5 furlongs in 1:00 flat, while Sky Mesa, third in the Dwyer in his 2003 debut, went a tick faster in :59 4/5. Both are expected to square off with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide at Monmouth Park.Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker worked 6 furlongs in 1:12 for his return in the Jim Dandy, a race trainer Bobby Frankel won last year with Medaglia d'Oro, who romped by nearly 14 lengths.