What do Shackleford, Ruler on Ice, and Pants on Fire all have in common? They all have a solid shot at earning Horse of the Year honors for 3-year-olds. A big determining factor however, will be this Sunday’s $1 million Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
The Haskell Invitational is tucked neatly between the U.S. Triple Crown series and the Breeders Cup and offers one of the most prestigious trophies in U.S. thoroughbred racing in the Haskell Invitational Trophy. The last three horses to win the trophy also took top honors at the end of the year.
With the Triple Crown series resulting in three different winners, the 3-year-old of the year Eclipse Award honor is completely up for grabs. Shackleford led most of the Kentucky Derby but fell to fourth at the finish as Animal Kingdom powered down the stretch for the win. He turned the tables at the Preakness however, edging Animal Kingdom by a half-length. Ruler on Ice came from nowhere to win the Belmont after Animal Kingdom fell at the gate and Shackleford faded down the stretch. Pants on Fire has notched two wins this past year taking the Louisiana Derby as well as the Pegasus Stakes. With these three horses competing, the Haskell Invitational is sure to be a competitive and entertaining day at the races come Sunday afternoon.