For those who were at Monmouth Park last year to witness the Haskell Invitational, it’s likely they remember it was all about American Pharoah. This year, it was all about the mud. The weather was a factor but it didn’t stop an exciting finish, and it turns out that some horses do their best work, when they get dirty.
Post time was 5:47 p.m. and it was the 12th race on the card. It was raining early on, and then came the sun, but the time the Haskell 2016 was about to begin, raindrops were falling from the sky. At least that’s what I felt on my shoulder, as I set my eyes upon the track.
Just because this year did not bring a Triple Crown winner to Monmouth Park, there was no shortage of high energy in the air. Women with hats, and Bruce Springsteen music blaring as the $1 million Grade l Haskell Invitational put the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Nyquist and the winner of the Preakness, Exaggerator, against one another. Not to mention that other horse, Gun Runner, who rounded out the card nicely, to have the top three finishers of the Kentucky Derby, competing for the winner’s spot.
It was trending all day long, with #WinAndYoureIn as the popular hashtag and live streaming and television via NBC beginning at 5 pm. Nyquist was the favorite but something told me that anything could happen, and that’s exactly what happened. Exagerrator, managed to come from behind and pull ahead of what was a very exciting race. Exaggerator loved the mud, and many were betting on him to do well on the “sloppy track.”
It’s the mud that might have been the variable that helped jockey Kent Desormeaux, earn a place in the Winner’s Circle today, that and flawless riding. Nyquist, was fourth at the finish line. For more information on this exciting race, be sure to check out @MonmouthPark on Twitter.
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