07/12/2010 11:00PM

It's on to Haskell for Trappe Shot


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trappe Shot is on target for the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed Tuesday. Trappe Shot won the Long Branch at Monmouth on Saturday, and the first two finishers in the Long Branch are extended invitations to the Haskell, to be run Aug. 1. McLaughlin will gladly accept the offer.

"He came out of the race great," McLaughlin said. "He ran very well and we're looking at the Haskell. That's pretty firm. That's why we took him down there to see how he'd handle things. Yes, we're looking to run back there."

Trappe Shot passed an important test in the 1 1/16-mile Long Branch, his stakes debut, by proving two turns was within his scope. He was the dominant winner in his three previous races, ranging from six to seven furlongs.

Even though only four horses contested the Long Branch, Trappe Shot and jockey Alan Garcia did not have the easiest trip. Trappe Shot stumbled at the start and wound up rating behind pacesetter Southern Ridge. He took on that rival with an inside move, showing he would not be intimidated on the rail. In the lane, Trappe Shot easily extended the winning streak to four with a 2 1/2-length win over the rallying Nacho Friend.

"It definitely was a learning experience and everything was positive," McLaughlin said. "In a four-horse field, funny things can happen. Alan really didn't want to be down inside, but there wasn't much choice. He overcame that, and ran very well."

Following the Long Branch, Trappe Shot returned to McLaughlin's barn at Belmont Park. He will ship north with the rest of the division to Saratoga to train for the return visit to the Jersey Shore.