07/26/2015 3:58PM

Top Clearance to run in Haskell Invitational


Trainer Wayne Catalano on Sunday said he plans to run Top Clearance in next Sunday’s Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, bringing the number of probable rivals for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to six.

Top Clearance, a son of Majestic Warrior owned by Gary and Mary West, won a first-level optional-claiming race at Monmouth Park on July 11. In his prior start, Top Clearance accounted for a Churchill Downs maiden race.

American Pharoah will be a very short price in the Haskell. A powerful winner of his last seven races for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Ahmed Zayat, American Pharoah is scheduled to work Tuesday at Del Mar and ship to Monmouth on Wednesday.

Competitive Edge, trained by Todd Pletcher, will be a clear second choice to American Pharoah in the $1 million Haskell. Although he failed to fire in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on Belmont Stakes Day, Competitive Edge was brilliant in winning his first four starts. The 1 1/8-mile Haskell will be Competitive Edge’s first start beyond a mile and his first around two turns.

Other 3-year-olds expected for the Haskell are Keen Ice, who finished third in the Belmont Stakes for trainer Dale Romans; Mr. Jordan, a three-time stakes winner for Eddie Plesa Jr.; War Story, who finished third in the Louisiana Derby and second in both the Risen Star and Lecomte stakes at Fair Grounds for Tom Amoss; and Tekton, who finished second by a head to Mr. Jordan in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes last time out.

Fountain of Youth and Holy Bull stakes winner Upstart, trained by Rick Violette, is more likely to run in Saturday’s Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga but has not been ruled out of the Haskell.

Post positions for the Haskell will be drawn Thursday.