Grade 3 Holy Bull-winning Florida-bred Hades is scheduled to make his return in Saturday’s $150,000 NYRA Bets Pegasus at Monmouth Park against seven other 3-year-olds at a mile-and-a-sixteenth. The Pegasus Stakes serves as the final local prep for the $1 Million, Grade 1 Haskell to be run on July 20.

Trained by Joe Orseno, Hades will be making is first start since finishing a disappointing seventh in the Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington won by Encino going a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Keeneland on April 13.

Hades, with 30 points on the Derby leaderboard, fell just five points and one spot shy of making the field for the Run for the Roses.

“After the Lexington Stakes, we found that he had a minor issue that was easily correctable,” 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. We’re hoping this is a good prep for the Haskell.”

Hades started the year with his two-length victory in the Holy Bull on Feb. 3 at Gulfstream, then finished fifth behind winner Fierceness in the Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa on March 30.

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

“We’re excited where he is now. 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.”

Hades has won three of five career starts while earning $256,650 for owners D. J. Stable LLC and Robert Cotran. D. J. Stable purchased the son of Ocala Stud stallion Awesome Slew for $130,000 out of the Ocala Stud consignment at last year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales April Sale.

Hades is out of The Shady Lady, by Quality Road and was bred by Ocala Stud, Joseph M. O’Farrell III, David O’Farrell, et. al.

Paco Lopez will ride Hades from post five.

The Pegasus will provide a rematch between Hades and Holy Bull runner-up Domestic Product.

Trained by Chad Brown for Klaravich Stables Inc., Domestic Product went on to win the Grade 3 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9 before finishing 13th in the Kentucky Derby in his last start.

Domestic Product is by Practical Joke out of the Paynter mare Goods and Services and has two wins and a second in six starts with earnings of $314,200.

He has post seven and will be ridden by Flavien Prat.

Holy Bull seventh-place finisher Sea Streak is also set for the Pegasus for trainer Eddie Owens Jr.

The son of Sea Wizard has the home track advantage after winning the  $117,000 Long Branch by seven-and-a-half lengths at Monmouth Park on May 11 in his last race.

A winner of two of seven career races with three seconds and a third, Sea Streak has banked $199,110 for owner Holly Crest Farm.

Sea Streak has the outside post seven and Jairo Rendon will ride.

The remainder of the field includes Tuscan Sky with jockey Javier Castellano, Dexter Haddock has the call on Just Step On It, Otello and rider Kendrick Carmouche, Willy D’s will have Joe Bravo aboard and Uncle Heavy, who does not have a rider named.

Return to the June 13 issue of Wire to Wire