Coil and Baffert Spoil 'Fire' and 'Ice' Party at Haskell
Bob Baffert defends title with Florida colt that sprung from last to first in final stretch
Trainer Bob Baffert's colt Coil sprung from the back to the front of the pack in the final stretch of Sunday's $1 Million Resorts Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park past Preakness winner Shackleford and Belmont champ Ruler On Ice.
A crowd of 38,895 looked on, many of them cheering for local horses Ruler On Ice and Pants On Fire, the pair trained by Farmingdale's Kelly John Breen and owned by Rumson's George and Lori Hall.
A 'Fire' and 'Ice' party took place in the clubhouse, complete with pink and orange colored buttons that read "Fire & Ice" or "POF" for Pants On Fire and "ROI" for Ruler On Ice.
Coil's Jockey Martin Garcia got him to break to the outside coming around the race's final turn to beat Preakness winner Shackleford by a head.
“I was sitting on a ton of horse turning for home," said Garcia from the winner's circle. "When I got to Shackleford my horse kind of waited. He tends to do that when he makes the lead. I just kept getting into him. I knew I had Shackleford, but my horse made it interesting."
Baffert and Coil's ownership team of Karl Watson, Michael Pegram, and Paul Weitman won last year with Lookin At Lucky. Coil's win Sunday marks a record five Haskell victories for Baffert.
"It’s just great to be back at Monmouth Park. Everyone does such a great job here. It’s always fun to come back,” said Baffert.
Ruler On Ice finished third and Pants On Fire finished fifth. Ruler On Ice's jockey Jose Valdivia felt his horse liked the classic distance of the mile and an eighth course.
"I think with the kind of performance he put on today, he proved that the Belmont Stakes was no fluke," said Valdivia. "He’s a legitimate, classic-distance kind of horse.”
Yummy With Butter won the $200,000 Oceanport Stakes, which was run as the ninth race of the day. In the above video, members of the Oceanport Council, including Councilman Irace, Councilwoman Kahle and Mayor Mahon present a trophy in the winner's circle.