07/17/2011 10:22AM

Monmouth Park: Ruler On Ice will join stablemate Pants On Fire in Haskell

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Bill Denver/Equiphotos
Belmont Stakes champion Ruler On Ice (outside), with jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. in the saddle, works in company with Valley Stream on Sunday morning at Monmouth Park.

It’s going to be the Fire and Ice Haskell.

Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice and Louisiana Derby and Pegasus Stakes winner Pants On Fire will both start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 31, their connections announced on Sunday. Both horses are owned by George and Lori Hall and trained by Kelly Breen, who are New Jersey residents and maintain their racing stable at Monmouth Park.

 Elvis Trujillo will ride Pants On Fire, taking over for the injured Rosie Napravnik. Jose Valdivia Jr., who rode Ruler On Ice to an upset victory in the Belmont Stakes, retains the mount in the Haskell. The decision to run Ruler On Ice in the Haskell means there will be a showdown for supremacy in the 3-year-old division between the Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice and the Preakness winner Shackleford.

 “It’s George and Lori and Kelly’s home track,’’ said Henry Sullivan, who is a publicist for the Halls and Breen. “The horses have run well there, they trained well there, and the Haskell is a big race for Monmouth, a big race for them. There was some talk about running Ruler On Ice in the Jim Dandy [at Saratoga], the decision was made to run both in the Haskell; to do it for New Jersey, do it for Monmouth Park. We’re very excited about having Shackleford and the others in the race and we’d like to win this race.’’

Others pointing to the Haskell include Preakness third-place finisher Astrology., Federico Tesio winner Concealed Identity, the multiple stakes- winning sprinter J.J.’s Lucky Train, and Long Branch Stakes winner Rattlesnake Bridge.

On Sunday, at Monmouth, Ruler On Ice worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 in company with the unraced 2-year-old Valley Stream. Trujillo was aboard Ruler On Ice.

 Meanwhile, Pants On Fire worked four furlongs in 49.80 seconds in company with the unraced 2-year-old colt Tripendicular. Valdivia was aboard Pants On Fire.

At Churchill Downs, Shackleford worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds.