Cyberknife, winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1) in April, racked up his second Grade 1 victory on Saturday, July 23 with a determined score over Taiba in the $1 million Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park. The game victory earned Cyberknife a berth in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and provided trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux with their second straight Haskell score after teaming to win the 2021 renewal with Mandaloun.
Owned by Al Gold’s Gold Square LLC, Cyberknife set a new track and stakes record with the win, covering 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.24. His final time lowered the previous stakes record of 1:47 established by Majestic Light in 1976 and later equaled by Bet Twice in 1987.
“This is a very big victory, especially to win this race right in my old back yard,” said Al Gold who lived in Ocean Township near Monmouth for more than 35 years. “The Arkansas Derby was very big, and the Haskell is as well. It’s a very big deal. You want to win the Kentucky Derby and all the big races, but this is one of the ones I really wanted to win, and we’re on our way to the Breeders’ Cup now.”
Cyberknife settled off the pace on the inside under Geroux in the early stages. He advanced toward the leaders nearing the far turn and rallied bravely along the inside in the lane. He collared race favorite Jack Christopher and then hooked up with a hard-charging Taiba, turning back that rival by a head at the finish.
“I think this is his best race to date,” said Cox of Cyberknife’s winning performance. “Throughout the race I thought he looked very professional with the way he handled himself. At the quarter-pole, Florent had a nice hold of him, and he was loaded. He responded well when asked. He flew at the end. I am very proud of him.”
Bred in Kentucky by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Cyberknife improved his record to 9-5-2-0 and the $600,000 winner’s share of the lucrative purse increased his lifetime earnings to $1,596,520. Cox related after the race that Cyberknife, who earned a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure in the Haskell, could point to the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga for his next start.