Haskell Invitational Field Taking Shape

The field for Monmouth Park’s signature event, the $1,000,000 William Hill Haskell Invitational, continues to take shape with Preakness winner Oxbow, Wood Memorial winner Verrazano, Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul and Easy Goer Stakes winner Power Broker all pointing to the mile and an eighth Grade 1 on July 28.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who sent out fellow Hall of Famer Serena’s Song to take 1995 Haskell, will be back with Oxbow, who enters the Haskell off a runner-up effort in the Belmont Stakes on June 8.  The Calumet Farm color-bearer has earned over $1 million in his 12 race career.

Verrazano, who entered the Kentucky Derby a perfect four-for-four, enters the Haskell off an impressive front-running score in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes here on June 16.  The colt by More Than Ready has won five of his six starts, all with Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez in the irons.

Trainer Dallas Stewart will be represented by his first Haskell starter with his expected entrant Golden Soul.  The Charles Fipke-homebred was a hard-charging second to Orb in the Kentucky Derby and will be making his first start since the Belmont Stakes.

Power Broker will be looking to give trainer Bob Baffert an unprecedented fourth in a row and seventh overall victory in the Haskell.  A gate to wire winner of the Easy Goer last out, Power Broker, who broke his maiden last fall in the Grade 1 Front Runner at Santa Anita, rides a two race win streak into the Haskell.

Others considering the Haskell for their next start include Long Branch winner Micromanage, Swaps winner Chief Havoc and Preakness third place finisher Mylute.

Select seats for the William Hill Haskell are still available and can be purchased on-line at monmouthpark.com, by calling 732-571-5563, or visiting the reserved seat ticket booth at the track on live race days.

A 14-race card is anticipated for Haskell Day, with gates opening at 10 a.m. – first post at noon.



Monmouth Park will host the first-ever Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival sponsored by Monmouth Medical Center’s “Roll Out The Ribbons” campaign on Friday, July 26 at the new Bluegrass Mini Golf course.  The event will serve as the kickoff to William Hill Haskell Weekend and help raise money and awareness for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. 

Taking place from 6pm-10pm after the races, the Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival will feature mini golf, food trucks, a live band and much more.

As part of the festival, 36 foursomes will have the opportunity to play 18 holes of mini golf with members of the Monmouth Park jockey colony as well as other racing personalities.  Each foursome costs $100 and also includes unlimited mini golf the rest of the night, a VIP gift bag, commemorative scorecard, souvenir ball, and prizes to the top finishers.

“On behalf of the Monmouth Park jockey colony, I’m very excited to be a part of this first-time event,” said 13-time leading Monmouth Park jockey Joe Bravo.  “I look forward to helping kick off Haskell weekend and being able to play golf with some of the great Monmouth Park fans.  It’s nice to see Monmouth Park come up with such an exciting new event for such a great cause.”

For “walk-up” golfers, wristbands for unlimited mini golf with family and friends will be sold for $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under.

Three food trucks will be in attendance for the Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival:  Jersey Shore staple Max’s Hot Dogs, Pizza Vita – home of award-winning Neapolitan pizza – and Kona Ice Italian Ice. 

The festival’s music will be performed live by the Rachel Allan Band, courtesy of Rockin’ Country Thunder 106.3FM.  Thunder106 will also broadcast live from the event with multiple games and giveaways throughout the night. 

Title sponsor Monmouth Medical Center will also be on-site at the event raising money and awareness for their summer-long “Roll Out The Ribbons” campaign.  More information on that cause can be found at rollouttheribbons.com.

Those interested in purchasing one of the 36 foursomes to play 18 holes of mini golf with Monmouth jockeys and other racing personalities can find the entry form at monmouthpark.com.  For more information, call Brian Skirka at 732-571-6595 or email at bskirka@monmouthpark.com.




The annual classic car show rolls into Monmouth Park this Sunday, July 14th.  With over 100 cars from days gone by on display, the classic car show will complement a full slate of live Thoroughbred racing, which gets underway at 12:50 p.m.

In addition, family fun day will be in full force with clowns, pony rides, face painters, bounce houses and more to entertain the kids.






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Older Comments about Haskell Invitational Field Taking Shape...

3 1/2 hours
Haha. How far is Saratoga from Belmont?
you were almost a continent away from me
Oh, I was right near Saratoga. Right near it, staying a buddy's house (can't tell you his name, he's pretty famous :P)
where in ny were you.if you are up soon .let me know where you are.i live 20 minutes outside of the city/15 minutes from belmont park.
Tmallios, Sullivan actually made a point, the Haskell is not his (Mylute's) race. It won't set up for him. So don't take this like I'm saying he'll win. I don't think Mylute will win, but he certainly has the talent. I've known many first-class athletes in the NBA for many years. I've known many COMEDIANS at the TOP of my profession (Comedy) such as Kevin Hart. It is cool talking to them because you hear things and know about things that most people don't. Obviously, everybody at Maryland racetracks knows me (I'm obviously there a lot), and I have talked to Ramon Moya often. That's pretty much it. I have some experience with professional handicappers, which IMO trumps anything :). I know exactly what you mean about going to Saratoga in the mornings, or any track. I sent my friend on this website about it.... Out of curiousity, Mallios.... I was in New York this past week. I was at Saratoga morning works on July 13th... I was wondering if you were there too? If you were, I bet we were standing right next to each other and didn't even know it :).
to address your other thing,it is cool chatting with people in the buisiness behind closed doors as they say.you hear things you would never see in print. i do not get up to the spa as much as i should.but when i go up,the thing i enjoy the most is waking up at 6 AM, going to the various barns,shooting the breeze and watching the horses work out.with the crisp country air and the surroundings,especially if you enjoy racing like we do.you just do not want it to end.
rafi,the thing you said is correct.everything we chat about is in the eye of the beholder.like a wise old man at the track once told me.the fact that we all have a different opinion is why they have parimutual wagering. if we all had the same opinion.we'd all be betting the same horse.i understand exactly what you are saying about mylute. same with me and vyjack. i truly believe he is a superior race horse.others think he is barely an allowance horse.that is fair,it is their opinion.
Tmallios, it must be very cool to have been associated with such first-class horsemen such as the Zayats and Thomas Amoss. Mylute is a damn solid colt, Mallios. Is he overrated like you proclaim? That is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I'd like to stay away from that topic of Mylute, as I know a certain individual will chime in with garbage. I personally believe Mylute has all the talent in the world and is good enough to win the Haskell. In my personal opinion, he will not win the Haskell, I'm just saying he has the talent to. You made some exceptional points, Mallios. The rail is always concrete on big racing days; for example Wood Memorial Day at Aqueduct. Monmouth is a dirt surface in which is incredibly speed-biased. Late and sustained runners rarely win there as it is extremely kind to early horses, like Oxbow and Verrazano. Just observations.
rafi, i like tom amoss, i know him.when i was with zayat stables at the beginning.amoss became our trainer after jj toner. i have all the respect in amoss.that being said.mylute in my opinion is a solid horse,but he is maybe the most overrated horse. another one who always has an excuse because of this or because of that. he is a plodder dependent on others to do the dirty work for him.against the very best he will always come up short. he is not good enough unless a race falls apart.no knock on the horse.in Johnny V. and stevens.you have 2 all time greats. trust me,they will not be doing anuthing stupid and getting into it,,where they set it up for someone else.if history repeats itself as it always does on big racing cards.the rail will be like concrete.post position between the 2 will be paramount. he ever draws the inner post closer to the rail will be setting the fractions.the other will be chasing.
Oops, forgot to say at the end ^^^, haha, Have a nice evening, Icy.
Icy, I am a big supporter of drawing a black line through the Kentucky Derby in entrant's past performances. The race means next to nothing and they're too many variables that can easily result in a colt throwing a clunker. My only true problem with Verrazano is I'm not sold he can face the best competition and on a fast pace. In the Wood Memorial, he has a super easy pace and barely held off Vyjack and Normandy Invasion. In the Pegasus, he had an easy lead against Claimers and substantially kicked ass. I am in complete agreement- IF Verrazano gets some ultra slow pace, he will win this very easily. My question is if he can win while having another entrant make him work. I'll have to wait for past performances and check pace pars to see who has run the earliest. I don't believe Verrazano is the "only speed that can hold up", I have a feeling Oxbow can too. I understand your points, but I disagree. I do think Verrazano is a very logical choice- just not my top choice. If Oxbow wasn't entered, I'd be all in on Verrazano.
Why Verrazano? Throw out the waste of a DErby. Otherwise, what he does comes easily to him. That's how it looks to me.
Tmallios, I've never been a fan of Verrazano; pre Derby and post Derby. He is a very logical choice for the Haskell- without question. Verrazano fits the track profile, he's fresh, he's had a prep over the track and he has the talent. The biggest issue I have with Verrazano is the doubt that he can contest a fast pace. There's simply no question, if he gets an easy pace in the Haskell HE WILL WIN, but I'm thinking Oxbow with Gary Stevens on board might be able to put some pressure and substantially cause Verrazano to tire. I believe Verrazano and Oxbow are the ultimate win contenders but I wouldn't be shocked if Mylute showed his talent in here.
I don't have a program either, I don't think they're out yet. However this is definitely a slow group on the front end. The only time speed has been shown on the front end by a 3yos that I can recall that held up is at Santa Anita by Goldencents on a speedway. To the best I can recall, outside of Verrazano there is no speed that can wire the field that is faster than his. The 2013 Preakness was one of the slowest ever on a fast track. Where is this speed coming from that hasn't been there all year. If you don't like Verrazano who will be running loose on the lead who do you like? As to your statement, "Verrazano has never survived a fast pace against quality competition." I really don't understand this statement as he's only lost one race, the Kentucky Derby as he was on the pace of a 45.1 half, a 1:09.4 second call,in a race that was run on liquid ice and is a toss. That aside, he has never lost. Verranzo is the only speed that can hold up, that's why others have been reluctant to challenge because as stated above they can't challenge and win. Unless a rabbit, that will kill both Verrazano and Oxbow is entered, Verrazano won't be challenged and coming into the stretch will have as much energy as any other horse and the speed to go with it. Basically even without a program, he is the best bet in racing, "lone speed in the race." Have a nice night raf.
Raf, i to am not a so called fan of Verrazano. He is a very nice horse,i never bought into the superstardom prior to the derby. But in the Haskell i would be choosing him over Oxbow. I think oxbow is a very nice horse. lukas got him on one of those rolls. fact he ran 3 races in 5 weeks is gonna take its' toll on him.the triple crown campaign is brutal.look how many horses it has knocked out in the past and deprived us from seeing.in this case VZ. is a fresh horse. same thing you saw with palace malice in the belmont. he was the fresh horse and you saw what he did to the field. people can love pletcher or they can hate him.but one thing is for sure,and do not ever take it lightly.when pointing to a race(especially a graded one)there is no better trainer in america than todd pletcher. look at palace malice in the belmont,look at the luisiana derby with revolutionary and finally look at overanalyze in the arkansas derby. todd has been pointing VZ. for the haskell from the moment his horse walked across the finish line along with others. this makes VZ. the horse very much to beat.
Icyhotboo, personally I don't like Verrazano. Never have. Of course, my analysis is without past performances, so this will not stick as my actual picks. My picks probably will change after I actually handicap it. One thing, you wouldn't classify him as speed? Oxbow, that is? I think there might be somewhat of a DECENT pace, my question is can Verrazano keep it. Verrazano has never survived a fast pace against quality competition, besides the Tampa Bay Derby. Quite frankly, Java's War was running a furlong or two short of his liking on the dirt rather than the grass. Verrazano snuck away in the Wood, chasing a 77-1 shot on VERY slow fractions, and beat claiming entrants in the Pegasus on a slow pace (after Itsmyluckyday got hurt and pulled up). I just have doubts, continous doubts, if Verrazano will be able to survive a pace against quality racehorses. I'll be willing to give him credit if he proves me wrong. I used to pound Oxbow for the same thing, until he ran a quality race in the Belmont Stakes at a distance too far for him. One last thing, Derek Simon (handicapping collegue, professional, check him out at SimonSpeedRations.com and his seminars) has speed rations that he uses in order to calculate a horse's speed. Oxbow has speed, if I'm not mistaken, and I'm pretty sure he is best when on the lead. Gary Stevens sent him off the pace in the ARK Derby and close to it as "Palace Malice Chasers" in the KY Derby. However, he found Oxbow the lead and contested it in the Preakness and Belmont. I think Gary Stevens has learned his lesson in that regard. I am often critical of him (not on this site, just in general) of Stevens rushing his horses to close to the lead, but I think it works with Oxbow. Anyway, these are just observations. My picks won't become official until I look at PP's.
Verrazano, his speed should hold up as there's no one to contest him early and still be there at the finish. Lukas can't do what he did in the Preakness to Orb. If he does he'll kill Oxbow too. I agree with Sullivan, Mary, as he'll be uncontested on the lead on a speed favoring track. He could get beat as can any horse, but for that to happen there has to be early speed besides Verrazano for Orb to close into. Also Orb hasn't returned to that pre derby form he showed at GP. The downside is the odds just won't be there as a single wager. An exotic will be needed if this plays out on the track as it does on paper.If you can beat him then you'll have nice odds. The other thing is they took him off the TC trail to rest for the second half of the season and I believe that will be a big factor.
Gelded, Monmouth, as posted before, always has a speed bias... Always. Verrazano can take advantage of that and Oxbow too. Mylute has a lot stacked against him in that regard. I find it that Verrazano always has these easy E1 E2 pace that makes him hard to beat. If Gary Stevens lets Oxbow get the lead, I'm wondering if Verrazano will be able to keep the pace, when he'll run 10pts EARLIER that his custom. Oxbow used to be similar in that regard, but he changed my mind in the Belmont where he posted very nice fractions and kept going. Sure, he crawled home, but let's remember 12f isn't his prime distance. I'll give Oxbow my early favortism because he fits the track profile, he is proven to go against a fast pace, and quite frankly I believe he is the best 3yo in the nation. I'll say Mylute as the EARLY 2nd choice, based on class alone, however he will not fit this track profile. Verrazano would be my third choice, but I'm truly not sure about his ability to sustain fractions going 9f against a TRUE pacemaker like Oxbow. I have no idea about Power Broker because I hardly know of him, Chief Havoc will need to improve leaps and bounds to contest this race.

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