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A Stellar Group of Trainers Handicap the Haskell

Gemologist with jockey Javier Castellano up winning his 2012 debut by 7 lengths. Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach, Florida. 03-16-2012
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 placed.
 
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 their moves.
 
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. 

 

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Older Comments about A Stellar Group of Trainers Handicap the Haskell...

Paynter for the win.Easily, I might add.
Gemologist!
Mike Smith blew it on Paynter in the Belmont. I had Union Rags and thought I got a gift win there. Union Rags is better than any horse in this field that Paynter has to beat. I rest my case.
Baffert stayed home.....Paynter does not win but feel free to bet on him to teach me a lesson
Most likely there will not be value in the exactas with Paynter.
I'm not sure how I'll bet this race.Paynter's odds will be low so I may go exacta's on this one. Probably not a lot of value on a win ticket on Paynter in this one.I do 80% of my wagering with less than 5 minutes to post .
unmolested up front with no significant pressure, Paynter can dictate the entire race justas Forty Niner did when he won it
I like Paynter in this spot. Nonios is unraced on the dirt so that's a question mark.Dullahan isn't a dirt horse.Gemologist has been on the shelf and is slow. Stealcase and Handsome Mike are outclassed. Just my opinion.
Paynter, alone on the lead, you think shows STAMINA and the world is flat.
Paynter has great stamina. If he takes controls and sets the fractions like he did in the Belmont he will be tough to beat.
We agree again, Brian. I see this race setting up well for Nonios, so long as Gemologist lets him pass. I like them boxed for the exacta here.
Gotta go with Paynter here, http://handicrapper.blogspot.com/
"I might as well like the post because there isn’t much I can do about it." Love the quote from the Dorf, and I also love his horse's chance of becoming the name people are talking about after the Haskell!

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