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Racing At The Jersey Shore

Monmouth Park On Haskell Press Conference Day

Today I spent part of the morning in the stable area at Monmouth Park waiting for Shackleford to take a break from all of his horse business so that I could get a photo of this year's Preakness winner and 5-2 Haskell morning line favorite. Trainer Dale Romans said that in the race, "We’ll just let him run, and if he goes to the lead fine, and if somebody wants to gun, we’ll just sit right off of them."


From the stable area it was on to The Haskell Press Conference.  That's my post position draw sheet filled out with Brad Thomas' morning line odds. Bob Baffert's Coil is the second choice at 3-1. Baffert is 4 for 4 with his Haskell entrants since winning with 
Point Given in 2001. He gave Coil the following evaluation, "He's trained really well, I think he's going to run a big race, and we're going to find out how good he is. Does he want to go a mile and an eighth or is it too far for him?"


I got to eat lunch with Ray Kerrison, the veteran racing reporter for the NY Post, and his wife. We talked about Monmouth and Saratoga and I asked him who is his favorite horse of all time? Kerrison said that it is 1977 Triple Crown winner 
Seattle Slew because he had a unique spirit and energy.

Who is going to get the $600,000 winner's share of the purse and the Haskell trophy? There is a lot of speed in the race and that should set up for a closer, but Shackleford turned away all challenges in the Preakness. Monmouth is a track he should like and he is well rested. However, it is hard to go against Baffert in the Haskell.
Pants On Fire has home field advantage and could offer good betting value if near his 4-1 ML odds.

Best of all, I already got my Haskell Hat, actually I got two of them. Is there anything to the resemblance between the hat logo and the silks of last year's winner
Lookin At Lucky and this year's Mike Pegram owned Coil? Hmmm.

 

 

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Older Comments about Monmouth Park On Haskell Press Conference Day...

Shackleford looked awesome when he schooled in the paddock today. He was on the muscle and showing off to crowd. Brad Thomas seems to be picking JJ's Lucky Train. I think Coil will run big. Stay Thirsty made Ruler on Ice look better, but down goes his odds even more. Pants On Fire??? I guess I sound as undecided as ever. Great field, though! I am going to the barns early Sunday, maybe that will help me choose!
One more day, Matt ... Who do you like?

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Meet Matt Shifman

In the 70’s I was another one of those kids that went to the track with their fathers, and I immediately became enthralled with the excitement and challenges of handicapping.  And then the charisma and dominance of Secretariat gave me a hero to follow. To this day, I still get emotional when I hear Chic Anderson’s call of the 1973 Belmont, “Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine”.

 
There have been many great horses run at the shore. In 1976 I watched Majestic Light win the Monmouth Invitational, now the Haskell, in track record time, defeating Honest Pleasure, the big favorite who was in from New York.  This was one of my first big wins at the track.
 
In the 80’s, as a disciple of Andy Beyer, I made my own speed figures because they were not available to the public. Needless to say I visited Monmouth frequently to test out the “figs”.
 
The 90’s allowed me to learn about the backstretch as a part owner of a few claimers that were stabled at Philadelphia Park.  Not a typical owner, I mucked stalls, cooled out the horses, and watched morning works.  Also, I met my wife and discovered that her grandfather bred, owned, and raced thoroughbreds on the West Virginia, Maryland circuit.  Today our office is decorated with winner’s circle pictures and a vast collection of Kentucky Derby glasses.
 
Today’s electronic age makes it so easy to gather information about racing.  I hope you use this blog to learn about Racing at the Jersey Shore.