Updated on 09/17/2011 10:00PM

Sun King joins cast for Haskell

Sun King, with exercise rider Carlos Correa, trains Thursday at Saratoga for Sunday's Haskell at Monmouth.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Multiple stakes winner Sun King was a late addition to the field for Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million at Monmouth Park when post positions were drawn Thursday.

Sun King joins seven other 3-year-olds for the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, the biggest race of the year in New Jersey. The Haskell will be part of an ESPN2 telecast from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Roman Ruler, the recent winner of the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park, will be the likely favorite with Jerry Bailey set to ride from post 4.

"That post is fine for him because he's a good gate horse," said trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the Haskell twice. "The most important thing is that he's doing well. He's on his way right now [from California], so there's no turning back."

Sun King will attract considerable support. His front-running style, used effectively in Grade 3 victories in the Tampa Bay Derby and Leonard Richards Stakes at Delaware Park, should play well at Monmouth, where speed is traditionally king.

Javier Castellano will ride for trainer Nick Zito from post 5.

Local hope Park Avenue Ball will also get solid backing. A New Jersey-bred colt, Park Avenue Ball was a dominant winner of the Grade 3 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes, Monmouth's traditional Haskell prep.

Park Avenue Ball will break from post 2 with Chris DeCarlo aboard for trainer Jim Ryerson.

Ohio Derby winner Palladio has the rail. Papi Chullo won his maiden last time out and has post 2. Former claimer Golden Man got post 6. Joey P., the other New Jersey-bred in the field, has post 7, while Chekhov, the $3.3 million 2-year-old purchase by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, wil break from the outside stall.

The Monmouth race office was expecting a Zito horse after he had three runners weighted for the Haskell: Sun King, Pinpoint, and Indy Storm.

Early indications pointed to Zito sending Indy Storm, a colt still eligible for second-level allowance conditions. The complexion of the race started changing last week, however, with the defection of the injured Afleet Alex.

In the end, Zito sent the most accomplished of the trio.

Zito will be looking for his first Haskell win, while Baffert will try for a third win in the last five years. He won with Point Given in 2001 and War Emblem in 2002.

Those previous winners had Triple Crown experience coming into the Haskell. Roman Ruler, making only his second start of the year, missed the entire Triple Crown due to foot problems.

The field

Haskell Invitational
Purse: $1 million; 1 1/8 miles; Grade 1

1PalladioR. Dos Ramos11810-1
2Park Avenue BallC. DeCarlo1183-1
3Papi ChulloD. Lopez11615-1
4Roman RulerJ. Bailey1199-5
5Sun KingJ. Castellano1195-2
6Golden ManC. Lopez11715-1
7Joey P.A. Gryder11615-1
8ChekhovG. Stevens1166-1

* Track odds
* Television: 5-6:30 p.m. (Eastern), ESPN2