ENCRYPTION —Gets the home track advantage
with all four of his career starts coming at Monmouth. He’s never been worse
than 3rd, but he takes a huge step up in class when facing grade 1
company for the first time. In a field full of early running types, he may
just be in even deeper than one would think. Pass.
ENCRYPTION - has improved his
speed figures in each start. He has
speed from the rail and will likely gun to the lead along with at least three
other colts. His pedigree for the distance is highly suspect and he was
beaten like a read headed stepchild in his last two races by Albano and Irish
You Well. Why, Mr. Breen, why? Pass.
BAYERN —I’m going to cut to the chase
here. Bayern is best at up to a mile. He completely floundered in the
Preakness and I suspect the same will happen here. As a speedy sprinter, his
presence will simply ensure a lively pace. Pass.
BAYERN - is California speed and could be the fastest colt in the field. He
did the Baffert BBQ in the Woody Stephens, running them all off of their
feet. Baffert could have a very
successful sprinter on his hands if he placed the colt where he fits. Bayern’s perfect winning record is marred
by only two races, a distant third place in the 1 1/8 mile Arkansas Derby
(G-3) and a dreadful 21 length drubbing in the Preakness. I’m
with Ashley on this one. Pass.
ALBANO —Winner of the local prep, Albano
obviously likes the track. The Jones trainee held his own on the Derby trail
at Fair Grounds but faces a different, more difficult crew here. Also a
speedy type, his run style looks to be his downfall rather than his saving
grace with this crew. Pass.
ALBANO - likes the track, but how
good could his Pegasus Stakes result be? He beat Encryption, which isn’t too
hard, since Irish You
Well and Just Call Kenny have too. He’ll likely vie with Encryption, Bayern
and Wildcat Red for the lead. However, unlike the others, I’ll tag him to
hang on for a piece. Why? His late speed figures aren’t too bad, this is his
second off of a lay-off, his works are the best in the field, and Larry Jones
has 28% stakes winners this year. Plus, Albano’s half bro Mark Valeski
won at 1 1/8 miles, as did their dam.
IRISH YOU WELL —Maybe it was the track. Maybe it
was just experience. Either way, Irish You Well has been a different horse
since arriving at Monmouth. Whether he continues to win remains to be seen,
but Irish You Well is looking mighty dangerous these days. He has a pair of 3rd
place finishes at the Haskell distance in graded stakes company and has
improved since those two starts. Contender.
IRISH YOU WELL - should have no difficulty stretching out
to 1 1/8 miles. His female family is pure Claiborne breeding. Irish You Well is
two-for-two at Monmouth and is shares the highest late pace speed figure in
the field with Just Call Kenny. Who can beat Untapable if she stubs a
hoof? Maybe this colt. Contender.
JUST CALL KENNY—Comes in second off the layoff
and did not do too shabby at all when returning from injury in the Long
Branch Stakes. He finished 2nd to Irish You Well in that race and
has had two nice bullet breezes in his last two recorded works. Never out of
the exacta in 4 career starts, the Jump Start colt looked as though he could
be a Triple Crown contender after winning the Spectacular Bid. If he sits
right off the pace, he should get a nice trip. Consider for exotics.
JUST CALL KENNY - if you like Irish Well, you have to like
this guy. He gave that competitor all he could handle in the Long Branch in
his first start off of the layoff and returned with a post-race bullet
breeze. He should be fitter, stronger, and ready to roll. Pay no attention to his trainer’s 0-13 second
route race record. Remember, Kenny can't die!
SOCIAL INCLUSION —I’ve never been on the Social
Inclusion bandwagon despite him being by Pioneerof the Nile. Now, that’s not
to say that he isn’t a nice colt, because he certainly is, but I just never
saw what all the pre-Wood hype was about. Including the Wood Memorial, he’s
finished 3rd three straight times in graded stakes company and is
looking for a “breakout” race, so to speak. If he is part of the early pace
like he was in his first three starts, he may not be around at the end. But
at a nice price, he’s worth looking at. Maybe…
SOCIAL INCLUSION - was
the buzz horse entering the Wood Memorial after a huge record-setting
performance at Gulfstream Park. So far, that’s been the highlight of his
career, as Social Inclusion has a string of third place finishes in the Wood
Memorial, Preakness and Woody Stephens. He regressed after the Gulfstream
start in the Wood, and wasn’t in his customary position on the front end in
the other two races. With other speed
in here, I don’t see Social Inclusion in front where he likes to be. He’ll
likely maintain his place in the field – where ever you put him, he’ll stay
there. I didn’t like him in the Wood
and I don’t like him now. Pass.
UNTAPABLE —Is she or isn’t she? The next Rachel
Alexandra that is. We won’t know until after the race, but the fact
remains that this is a special filly. She’s been beating up on her peers all
year and will face a serious test, but it looks as though the boys will do all
the heavy lifting for her and all she’ll have to do is sit her usual trip,
stalk and pounce in the stretch. Contender.
UNTAPABLE - has a very strong
shot at joining the other two
fillies who have captured the Haskell, Serena’s Song
in 1995 and Rachel Alexandra in
2009. Untapable is well on her way to joining the
same league as these two Champions. While the eight colts facing her can
barely string together back-to-back wins, Untapable is undefeated as a three
year old and has conquered the filly division by a combined 31 lengths in
four starts, including the previously mentioned Kentucky Oaks (G-1), Mother
Goose (G-1), Fairgrounds Oaks (G-2) and Rachael Alexandra Stakes (G-3). The bay daughter of Tapit owns some of the
highest speed figures and she’s successful at 1 1/8 miles. Contender.
WILDCAT RED —He’s fast and he’s mighty. He’ll
gun for the lead from the outside, and if he gets it, look out! Put a line
through the Kentucky Derby, where he never had the chance to run his race,
and you’ll see a colt that hates to lose. It will be a contentious race, but
you better believe Wildcat Red will hang on for as long as he possibly can
because he is all heart. Contender.
WILDCAT RED - Other than
Untapable, there isn’t a more determined horse in the Haskell. He didn’t
belong in the Kentucky Derby, and his pedigree really is better suited to 1
1/6 miles. This is Wildcat Red’s second foray out of Florida. Is he purely a Gulfstream specialist, or
can his speed carry him to the finish line first in New Jersey? He’s drawn outside of the rest of the speed
and he’ll last as long as he can. I think his outside post will be his
undoing at this distance. Pass.
MEDAL COUNT —Ran a damn good race in the
Belmont and I honestly thought he had no chance. Prior to his last outing, I
considered him to be more of a turf or synthetics runner, but he proved me,
and a lot of others I’m sure, wrong. So what do I do with him here? I have to
give him a shot, especially since the son of Dynaformer is not a speed type.
With so much speed in the race, things are looking to set up for a stalker or
closer and he fits that bill. I’m not entirely sure I like him for the win,
but you have to consider him for the exotics.
COUNT – I’m still not convinced that
he’s a true dirt horse. His pedigree and conformation say turf. Yes, he finished third in the Belmont, but we
didn’t see the race the same way Ashley.
Other than Tonalist, practically everyone else was staggering at the
end. Medal Count has the lungs to handle the distance, but in his last four
starts he’s been far back in the early stages and that doesn’t work with the
speed favoring track bias at Monmouth. I
tired horses at the end. Maybe he can grab a piece, but I’m not counting on