Here are the Haskell
headliners: Baffert, Casse, Hollendorfer, O’Neill, Pletcher, and Romans. Is it
possible to have a more impressive group of thoroughbred trainers? All six of
them are amongst the top money earning trainers in North America, and these
guys know how to win the Haskell, as
they have combined to take home eight of them.
In this preview let’s have
the comments of these great trainers guide the handicapping of the race.
Nonios – Jerry Hollendorfer (6,221 career wins, 2012 earnings of $3,822,960, won the 1989 Haskell with King
Glorious who is his only Haskell runner until now) “I
might as well like the post because there isn’t much I can do about it. In a short field, it shouldn’t be too
hard for the riders to get to where they need to be.” Hollendorfer seems to be saying that this small field will
allow his horse to be in the middle of the field right where he likes to be
Dullahan - Dale Romans (1,556
career wins, 2012 earnings of $6,296,720, finished second in last year’s
Haskell with Shackleford) “He’ll drop back
from the break and come with one run. I like a mile and an eighth for him.
He’ll get a little more pace up front and come with that one quick kick.” Romans expects that there will plenty
of early pace to set up Dullahan’s powerful late kick.
Paynter - Bob Baffert (2,230
career wins, 2012 earnings of $8,663,803, the winner of five Haskells including
the past two years) “I’m happy to have a horse who
is good enough to run, and as the favorite. It depends on the break where he runs, but he’s the kind of
horse who needs to be up close.” Clearly Baffert wants Paynter on the lead as he has been in
his last three starts.
Gemologist – Todd Pletcher (3,099 career wins, 2012 earnings of $10,546,157, won two Haskells in a row for
WinStar Farm) “I’d rather be sitting right next to
Paynter. Our horse is an extremely good gate horse and this will allow him to
get into the flow of the race quickly and force Paynter to make a decision.” It
sounds like Pletcher is extremely confident that Gemologist will be able to sit
right behind the early pace setters.
Handsome Mike – Doug O'Neill (1,646 career wins, 2012 earnings of $4,727,490) “It’s been fun so far this year
and we’re still flying high. I love that post #5. He’s a really talented colt
who has been an underachiever looking at his form.” It sounds like O’Neill is
hoping to pick up a piece of this $1,000,000 purse.
Stealcase – Mark Casse (1,432
career wins, 2012 earnings of $4,809,629) “I’m glad to
hear he drew the outside post because he tends to break a touch slow, so the
outside won’t matter.” Like it or
not it is pretty clear that Stealcase will be towards the back of the pack, but
maybe ahead of Dullahan after the start.
Taking the trainers comments into
consideration, here is the final Haskell analysis. Paynter and Handsome Mike
will be on the lead with Gemologist stalking their early pace. Nonios should be
mid-pack going down the backstretch followed further back by Stealcase and
Dullahan. Handsome Mike will not be able to keep up with Paynter. However, I feel that Paynter will be a
heavy favorite who still has a lot to prove. He has only won a maiden race and an allowance. His second
place occurred in an extremely slowly run Belmont Stakes. Coming down the
stretch Gemologist will take the lead, as first Nonios, and then Dullahan make
I see Gemologist in the exacta with
either Nonios or Dullahan. Check the exacta possible payouts to guide the way
you wager. I will play some variation of an exacta key box using Gemologist
with Dullahan and Nonios (“Exacta box: 4 with 1,2”).
There is a great 14 race card at Monmouth Park with 5 stakes races on
the undercard. The 50¢ Pick 5 has a $100,000 guaranteed pool on races 6 through
10 and the 50¢ late pick 4 carries a minimum pool of $250,000 on the final four
races on the card. Good luck and have a great Haskell day. Tweet me @AndyScoggin and let me know if you
have gotten your Haskell hat.