Paco Lopez is entering this racing week on FIRE. He is now tied for 1st place with Jose C. Ferrer in the Leading Jockey standings at Monmouth Park. Both have 28 wins each. In third place is Isaac Castillo with 22 wins; not too far behind the top pair.
A race to definitely look forward to will be Paco Lopez getting the mount on Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC's MIDNIGHT BOURBON, who is pegged the 9-2 third choice when he runs this Saturday.
Here's the field for Saturday's 53rd $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1).
Post Time is 5:47 PM ET.
1. FOLLOWING SEA: 3-1
2. ANTIGRAVITY: 30-1
3. MANDALOUN: 2-1
4. HOT ROD CHARLIE: 6-5
5. PICKIN' TIME: 20-1
6. MIDNIGHT BOURBON: 9-2
7. BASSO: 30-1
Originally Steve Asmussen called Irad Ortiz Jr. to pilot MIDNIGHT BOURBON, but learned the all-star jockey was committed to being at Saratoga for that time period. Enter Paco Lopez, currently winning at a 25.2% rate. A win aboard MIDNIGHT BOURBON would give him his first Haskell Invitational victory, ever.
MIDNIGHT BOURBON for trainer Steve Asmussen will be changing riders for the fifth time. He was last ridden by Mike Smith in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and finished second.
The winner of the Haskell Invitational will receive an automatic entry to the Breeder's Cup Classic on November 6th at Del Mar.