Pegasus Stakes Draws Competitive Field; Picks, Odds

For an ungraded stakes race with a total purse of $150,000, the field for the Pegasus at Monmouth Park on Saturday has a handful of promising 3-year-olds.

Tuscan Sky. Hodges Photo.

The Pegasus at Monmouth Park is the typical local prep for the Haskell Invitational

And there’s no clearcut favorite. The morning-line choice in the local prep for the $1 million Haskell Stakes (G1) on July 20 is Tuscan Sky at 5-2.

The second choice at 3-1 is Domestic Product (13th in the Kentucky Derby); and the co-third choices at 7-2 are Hades (Holy Bull winner) and Sea Streak (Long Branch Stakes winner).

Uncle Heavy, winner of the Withers Stakes (G3) and sixth in the Preakness (G1), is 12-1.

The 1 1/16-mile Pegasus comes at a good time for this group of 3-year-olds looking to jumpstart their season following the Triple Crown.

Hades, who ran seventh in the Florida Derby (G1) and fifth in the Lexington Stakes (G3), did not qualify for the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

He’s ready to go again, says trainer Joe Orseno.

“We were thinking something special with him early in his career and we’re back to thinking something special,” Orseno told the Monmouth Park press office. “I believe that this horse is as real a 3-year-old as I have had in quite a while.”

Hades Prepares for Pegasus Stakes with Eyes on Haskell Entry

Hades won his first three starts before coming up short in the big Derby qualifying races.

“After the Lexington Stakes we found that he had a minor issue that was easily correctible,” Orseno said. “So, we gave him a little time off and worked on him. We believe we have him where we want him again. I’m pretty excited about seeing him race again.”

The Pegasus, which drew a field of eight, also offers free start fees and entry to the top two finishers for the Haskell.

Hades had a 4-furlong work at Monmouth on June 2, the fastest of 139 at the distance. Paco Lopez, the leading rider at Monmouth, has the call from post 5.

“We’re excited where he is now,” Orseno said. “He’s training fantastic. Our plan was to bring him to Monmouth Park to train and the Haskell was our summer goal. I don’t have anything mapped out after that.”

Domestic Product won the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) for trainer Chad Brown, while New Jersey-bred Sea Streak won the Long Branch Stakes by 7 ¼ lengths on May 11.

Tuscan Sky, meanwhile, won his first starts, finished seventh in the Wood Memorial (G2). He breaks from the rail under Javier Castellano, and if he can get a clean break and get to the front, he has a strong chance to rebound from this subpar effort in the Wood.

The Pegasus is one of four stakes races on the card: the others are all Grade 3s – the Eatontown Stakes, the Monmouth Stakes, and the Salvator Mile.

The picks: 1 Domestic Product 2 Sea Streak 3 Hades

The field for the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes, from the rail out, with jockey, trainers, odds:

1 Tuscan Sky (Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher), 5-2

2 Just Step On It, (Dexter Haddock, Louis Linder, Jr., 30-1

3 Otello (Kendrick Carmouche, Christophe Clement), 9-2

4 Willy D’s (Joe Bravo, Greg Compton), 15-1

5 Hades (Paco Lopez, Joe Orseno), 7-2

6 Uncle Heavy (TBD, Butch Reid, Jr.), 12-1

7 Domestic Product (Flavien Prat, Chad Brown), 3-1

8 Sea Streak (Jairo Rendon, Eddie Owens, Jr.), 7-2

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