2023 $1 Million Haskell Stakes Betting Preview

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Jul/20/2023

It’s the marquee event of Monmouth Park’s summer season Saturday (July 22, 20023) afternoon. The William Hill Haskell Stakes, worth a cool million, goes as the 12th race on the 14-race card. Post time is set at 5:45 PM, with the program getting underway at Noon (ET).

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It’s no surprise that a seven-figure purse has lured many of the country’s best 3-year-olds to the Jersey shore. Testing their mettle at nine furlongs (1⅛ miles), the finale of six stakes (including the $600,000 United Nations on the lawn) on the program.

The Haskell began in 1976 as in invitational handicap, then a regular invitational before becoming “just” s Grade I stakes race in 2020 

This will also serve as a “Win and You’re In” race toward the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Here’s a look at the eight-horse field, in order of post position,,,

1–Geaux Rocket Ride-morning line 9-2 (+450)

Trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Mike Smith, this is one who could be overlooked in the wagering. This son of Candy Ride travels outside of Santa Anita after a pair of wins and a second in a lightly-raced career. He did capture the mile-and-a-sixteenth Affirmed at odds-on in his last out. He didn’t run in any of the Triple Crown races, but his shrewd-as- they-come trainer won this race way back in 2000 (Dixie Union).

2–Awesome Strong-morning line 30-1 (+3000)

Another Candy Ride colt, this one trained by Jorge Delgado and ridden by Jose Batista. He did begin his career with four consecutive wins, though not anything above maiden or Florida-bred events, He finished fifth in his lone (Delaware Park) start this season, so this take-a-flier is way above his rate of pay.

3–Salute the Stars-morning line 8-1 (+800)

Trainer Brad Cox eyes the natural hat trick, having previously won this race with Mandaloun (2021, via disqualification) and Cyberknife (2022). Joel Rosario has the assignment, and yet another son of Candy Ride goes into the gate, having lost but once in four career tries (2-of-2 this season) entering this race. Took down the Pegasus at Monmouth last out, so a win over the surface.

4–Mage-morning line 3-1 (+300)

When the winner of the Kentucky Derby is a participant, it’s a race. Mage, the Derby champ at odds of 15-1 (+1500), did finish third in the Preakness before skipping the Belmont. The son of Good Magic is trained by Gustavo Delgado and ridden by Javier Castellano. Fattened by the payday at Churchill, he enters with career earnings of $2.2 million to date.

5–Tapit Trice-morning line 3-1 (+300)

Ridden by Luis Saez and trained by Todd Pletcher (he of the wins in the Haskell), he finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Belmont. This son of Tapit (duh!) is a career millionaire, and a winner at this distance at Keeneland’s Blue Grass right before the Derby.

6–Howgreatisnate-morning line 20-1 (+2000)

The lone gelding (by Speightster) in the field is trained by Elizabeth Dobles and ridden by Monmouth’s runaway leading jockey, Paco Lopez. Sort of the “house horse” in here, with last two starts over this oval. Won the Long Branch before a third-place finish in the Pegasus. Ripped off four consecutive wins to begin his career, but this is quite the test.

7–Extra Anejo-morning line 5-1 (+500)

There’s not a more lethal combination than trainer Steve Asmusse and jockey Tyler Gaffalione. This lightly-raced son of Into Mischief was derailed off the Triple Crown trail, hitting town with two wins in three career efforts. He slapped around an allowance (optional claiming) field at Ellis (as odds-on choice) in his last try. Let’s not forget the trainer won this race in ‘09 with a speedy miss named Rachel Alexandra.

8–Arabian Knight-morning line 5-2 (+250) 

Back in 2001, trainer Bob Baffert won this race with Point Given, He has added eight more Haskells to the resume, and whatever you wish to say about him, has the early favorite to annex No, 10. The son of Uncle Mo has had his share of issues getting the gate, this just a third start of his career. He was first-out winner (Keeneland) last November, then downed his foes at the Southwest (Oaklawn) this past January. So, unsighted since, he’s the morning choice in this event. Jockey John Velazquez has won this race two times.

“Trice” is Nice

It’s arguably the best field of 3-year-olds this season. Arabian Knight and Mage both look to be solid chances in straight and exotic wagering. However, we are leaning to Tapit Trice, who may just take down another Grade I event at the Haskell.

There is plenty of simulcasting available daily, according to horse racing odds.

Prefer a “Horse A vs. Horse B?” Try the head-to-head option, as per horse racing prop bets.

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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