06/22/2006 11:00PM

Two-turn test run for Haskell


Praying for Cash faces an important test Sunday in the $65,000 Coronado's Quest Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.

is unbeaten in two starts at Monmouth, both sprints. Trainer Kelly Breen would love to see Praying for Cash, a son of Songandaprayer, stretch out successfully in this mile and 70-yard race as a possible prelude to the track's biggest race of the summer: the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 6 at 1 1/8 miles.

Praying for Cash has been training at Monmouth like a horse on a mission. He shows three strong workouts since a six-furlong allowance victory on May 14. His latest was a bullet 46.20 seconds for four furlongs on June 18, the fastest of 46 at the distance that morning.

"He's doing well," said Breen. "Let's see if we can get him to go two turns. We think he can do it, otherwise we wouldn't be trying it. We'd like to take the step to the Haskell, if we could."

Aside from his Monmouth wins, Praying for Cash ran twice at Gulfstream Park over the winter, with a third-place finish in an allowance race and a sixth in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes at seven furlongs.

Distance has never been a concern for , the Todd Pletcher charge who will be making his 10th straight start at a mile or longer on Sunday.

He most recently pressed the pace while carried wide into the first turn in the Spend a Buck Stakes at Monmouth on May 29. Saint Augustus finished fourth, beaten only 2 1/4 lengths.

will try to earn his first stakes win. Trained by Nick Zito, Hesanoldsalt has kept some fast company. He was fifth behind Barbaro in the Florida Derby and most recently ran fourth to Sunriver in Belmont's Peter Pan Stakes.

Gottcha Gold, trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., is stepping up to stakes company for the first time. He captured a one-mile allowance race here on June 2.

Grand Survival, a $1 million purchase as a 2-year-old at the Barrett's March Sale, also is seeking his first stakes victory. Trained by Patrick Biancone, he most recently made a five-wide bid to reach contention in the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs but wound up fifth.

The late-running Two Deals Pending, a Jim Ryerson trainee who is only 1 for 12 lifetime, will try to pick up the pieces.