1999 Haskell Invitational Grade I

It was a three-wide move on the last turn, made with parabolic precision, that not only dusted Cat Thief and Forestry, but perhaps also kicked dirt on any sentiments that Charismatic had won the crown as the best 3-year-old in the nation. The horse responsible was Menifee. His hardly surprised rider was Pat Day, in the $1 million Grade I Haskell Invitational today at Monmouth Park. What does it mean? That three at-the-wire finishes can be deceptive. That anyone who penciled in Charismatic, the courageous Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, as the best of his generation needs an eraser. That Menifee's trainer, Elliott Walden, concluded a day that those with professional horse fantasies dream about. Less than an hour before Menifee ran down a pair of West Coast speedsters here, Walden's Ecton Park romped in the mud and ran away from a Grade II Jim Dandy field at Saratoga Springs. ''I knew he had won at the eighth pole,'' Walden said of Menifee's fifth career victory, his third this year, to move the colt's earnings past $1.5 million. The 33056 people who braved gloomy skies and early-morning showers may not have been so sure. The Derby and Preakness runner-up, Menifee still trailed a game Cat Thief, who was neck to neck with a determined Forestry in the stretch. ''I felt very good all the way, to be honest with you,'' said Day, who won his first Haskell and ran Menifee's record over the second-place Cat Thief to 5-0. ''I think if we run three more times, Menifee would beat ...

 

Tags: monmouth, park, horse, racing, larry, collmus, menifee, elliot, walden, pat, day, cat, thief, forestry

 



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