It’s Haskell Day at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. Today, it’s the first GI exclusively for three-year old since the Belmont Stakes, and only one of four GI races exclusively for three year olds remaining on the 2014 calendar (Travers Stakes, King’s Bishop, Malibu Stakes).
Memories today will be firmly centered on several important past races. However, these three races shouldn’t be predictive of today’s race, and are (mostly) irrelevant to today’s outcome. The first race, inspired by Untapable’s attempt to defeat colts, will be Rachel Alexandra’s domination in 2009, in which she earned the highest speed figure that year:
A sensational race, indeed, and one that will be in the back of today’s mind. But, of course, it has absolutely no bearing on today’s race, although I expect the memory of it will drive down Untapable’s price. As an aside, I don’t think Untapable is in the same class as Rachel Alexandra. That said, she doesn’t have to be to win here.
The second race on everybody’s mind will be Bayern in the Woody Stephens:
He was superb that day, demolishing a deep field. But, he seems best at shorter than this, and this seems like a attempt that you have to make with a high-priced horse just to see. He didn’t run in the Triple Crown, and this racetrack seems to give him a good chance. But, the connections are taking a calculated chance that has a big reward. If you decide to take a chance with them, make sure the price is fair.
The final race of irrelevance with be Social Inclusion’s Preakness effort against California Chrome:
It’s easy to forget now, but he had missed training and was a bit rushed back into this race. To view his potential, I’d instead focus on this race — perhaps the best of the winter at Gulfstream Park:
Good luck in the Haskell Invitational!
Image: Five Furlongs, “Coil and Shackleford battle for the lead in the Haskell Invitational.” Copyright 2011.