07/25/2009 12:00AM

Duke of Mischief is Haskell bound


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer David Fawkes confirmed Saturday that Duke of Mischief will make his next start in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Haskell Invitational for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2.

Fawkes had the Haskell and the $500,000 Jim Dandy, run the day before at Saratoga, under consideration for the Duke of Mischief, the Iowa Derby winner.

"The decision came down to a lot of things," Fawkes said from Florida. "Finishing second in the Haskell adds a lot more to his value versus running in a Grade 2 at Saratoga. This is a nice little horse. Either race would be a big step forward. We are asking a lot from the horse."

Duke of Mischief increases the confirmed Haskell field to seven, joining the Preakness-winning filly Rachel Alexandra, Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, Munnings, Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem, Atomic Rain, and Bunker Hill.

Duke of Mischief had his final breeze for the Haskell Saturday morning at Calder, a sharp four furlongs in 47 seconds, the fastest of 96 at that distance.

The colt will van to Monmouth on Sunday. Fawkes will schedule some paddock schooling later in the week. Eibar Coa, aboard for the Iowa Derby win, has the return call.

Duke of Mischief came to hand in the last two races, winning a first-level allowance in the slop by 11 3/4 lengths at Calder before crushing his Iowa Derby rivals by five lengths.

In other Haskell news, Atomic Rain had his final drill at Monmouth on Saturday, working five furlongs in 1:00.40. Purchased earlier this week by Godolphin, Atomic Rain is being supervised here by Rachel Dore, who flew in from England for the assignment. She said either Saeed bin Suroor or New York-based assistant Rick Mettee would saddle the colt on Haskell Day.

Joe Bravo retains the mount. He has ridden Atomic Rain in his last five races, including the 4 3/4-length victory in the Long Branch Stakes, Monmouth's traditional Haskell prep.