Exaggerator Tops Nyquist and Rest of Haskell Field
Oceanport, NJ- A weekend full of rain did not stop the Exagerrator contingency from coming to Monmouth Park to capture another win over Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, this time in the $1 Million Dollar Haskell Invitational in front of 30 thousand plus.
For the second time, since losing to Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby, Exaggerator handed the 3 year old colt yet another loss. Ten weeks ago on a similar sloppy track at the Preakness, Nyquist suffered the first loss of his career at the hands of Exaggerator. Today Monmouth Park was battered by on-and-off rain that played into Exaggerator’s favor and the colt did not disappoint.
After breaking slowly out of the gates, Exaggerator trailed the field around the first turn that was paced by Nyquist in front followed closely by American Freedom. American Freedom took over the lead from Nyquist just past the quarter pole while Exaggerator closed the cap from 7 to 4 lengths on the field just before the half way pole.
As the horses hit the top of the stretch it was four wide with American Freedom slightly in front of second place Nyquist, third place Gun Runner and fourth place Exaggerator. When the four hit the final turn, Exaggerator turned the meet into a full out sprint late and broke in front of American Freedom to beat the colt by two lengths in a time of 1:48.70 for his sixth victory in 13 starts.
Winning jockey and trainer Kent Desormeaux afterwards praised his colt’s willingness to run another superb race in the mud “the difference between him in the mud and the others is he doesn't care, he's floppy eared and he cruises along like it's another day in the office. That's the difference.''
As for the next run for Exaggerator before the Breeder’s Cup Classic in October, Desormeaux afterwards with TVG added “Exaggerator would be pointed to the Travers on Aug. 27, for his next start.”
The field finished with Exaggerator in front followed by American Freedom in second, Sunny Ridge third, Nyquist fourth, Gun Runner in fifth and Awesom Slew in last.
Also having a big day at Monmouth Park’s Haskell Day was jockey Jersey Joe Bravo who won three graded stakes race and five overall. While trainer Todd Pletcher tied a track record with Jorge Navarro with five wins on the day, two of which were stake races.