Dullahan, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, tuned up for Sunday’s test with a :59.80 drill at Churchill Downs last Saturday for trainer Dale Romans.
“I kept him on one track,” said Romans. “I didn’t see any sense in shipping him to New York (with a contingent of his other top horses) and training him there on that track and shipping him to Monmouth to run on a different track,” said Romans.
As for the racing surface in the Empire State, Romans said that Dullahan did not care at all for the track when he finished a well-beaten seventh in the Belmont Stakes as the 2-1 favorite last out.
“The track at Monmouth is not as near as deep, sandy and cuppy as Belmont,” said Romans. “The track at Monmouth is a lot more like the one at Churchill, and he likes that one.”
Romans expressed respect for Haskell entrant Paynter.
“I am a huge fan of Paynter’s,” Romans said when discussing his horse’s rival in Sunday’s Grade 1 $1 million Haskell Invitational while on a conference call with national media members on Tuesday afternoon. “He’s the horse to beat and will be out there running. We’ll have to run him down.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Wood Memorial Stakes winner Gemologist, Dwyer Stakes winner Teeth of the Dog, and Long Branch Stakes winner My Adonis were under consideration for the field. The Haskell is slated as the 13th race on a 14-race program with an estimated post of 6:17 p.m.
–Monmouth Park Publicity contributed to this report.