Updated on 09/17/2011 9:59PM

Canadian shipper Palladio heads to Haskell


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Add Palladio to the lineup for the Grade 1, $1 million on Sunday at Monmouth Park.

Trainer Roger Attfield confirmed Wednesday that Palladio, winner of the Ohio Derby, will ship from Woodbine to the Jersey Shore along with the filly Noble Stella, who will run Sunday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes.

Attfield was not certain Palladio could make the Haskell after the colt contracted a virus after his one-length victory in the Ohio Derby on July 2.

"He has done really well, and he has really come around in the last 10 days," Attfield said. "He worked really well, so we decided we should look at this race."

Palladio drilled five furlongs in 1:00.80 Tuesday at Woodbine. He will carry 118 pounds in the Haskell, one fewer than highweight Roman Ruler.

Palladio has won three of his last four races, including the Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine.

"He has definitely been improving," Attfield said. "He was slow to develop. and he's still learning and improving."

The addition of Palladio gives the Haskell six confirmed starters in advance of of Thursday's post position draw. Roman Ruler, Park Avenue Ball, Chekhov, Papi Chullo, and Joey P. are also on target for the 1 1/8-mile race.

Roman Ruler, trained by Bob Baffert, is the likely favorite following his victory in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. He was scheduled to arrive Thursday from Del Mar.

Roman Ruler, plagued by foot problems that kept him out of the Triple Crown, turned in a snappy five-furlong work in 58.60 seconds Monday at Del Mar.

Baffert won consecutive Haskells with Point Given in 2001 and War Emblem in 2002.

Park Avenue Ball and Joey P., both New Jersey-breds, are locally based.

Park Avenue Ball had his final drill Tuesday, a five-furlong work in 1:00.

"The work was good," trainer James Ryerson said. "We're happy with how he's doing."

Park Avenue Ball had a day off Wednesday and will gallop up to the race. He has won 3 of 4 races at Monmouth, including the Grade 3 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes last time out.

Joey P. worked a half-mile in 50 seconds in company Wednesday.

"I wanted to give him something to run at," said trainer Frank Costa. "He finished up very well."

Aaron Gryder will replace Jorge Chavez aboard Joey P.

Smokescreen could wait for W.Va. Derby

Several horses were still considered Haskell possibles on Wednesday. That group includes High Limit, Golden Man, Indy Storm, and Smokescreen.

Ben Perkins Jr. sat on the fence, literally, as he pondered running the Monmouth-based Smokescreen in the Haskell or the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Race Track on Aug. 14.

Perkins, perched on a rail on the backstretch review stand, said Smokescreen, the fourth-place finisher in the Long Branch, "is here and he's ready. We could run here, we could run there. It will depend on which horses run where."

Two Grade 3's on undercard

The Haskell undercard features seven stakes, topped by a pair of Grade 3, $150,000 grass races: the Taylor Made Matchmaker for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles and the Oceanport Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Noble Stella, winner of the Grade 3 Dance Smartly Handicap at Woodbine last time out, faces a solid field that will likely include Spotlight, who missed by only a neck in Monmouth's Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap.

Hotstufanthensome looks to step up in the Oceanport following a front-running win in Monmouth's ungraded Elkwood Stakes.

Serey saddles a winner

Juan Serey won the second race Wednesday with Phish ($16.60) for the first victory of his comeback. It came with his 18th starter.

Serey, Monmouth's leading trainer from 1995 to 1999, was granted a conditional license last month to resume training.

Serey, 56, lost his license in 2003 when the New York State Racing and Wagering Board found him in violation of rules concerning financial obligations and New Jersey honored the ban. Juan Serey's brother, Mario, charged that Juan had improperly taken money from Mario's purse account and transferred horses into his name.

* October Winds, who encountered early trouble in her last two races, looks for a cleaner trip Friday in the $39,000 allowance race feature for fillies and mares on the turf.