2018 Haskell Invitational Contenders & Odds

Horse Betting

Monmouth Park Press Release | OTB Writer

The biggest event at Monmouth Park - the $1 million Haskell Invitational, is set to celebrate its 51st renewal on Sunday, July 29.

The Haskell is a part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" series, with the race winner receiving an automatic spot with fees paid for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.

2018 Haskell Invitational Odds & Entries

Race 12 on Monmouth Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 5:47 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Lone Sailor 5-1 Joe Bravo Tom Amoss
2 Navy Commander 12-1 Angel Arroyo Robert Reid, Jr.
3 Roaming Union 10-1 Albin Jimenez Kelly Breen
4 Core Beliefs 4-1 Flavien Prat Peter Eurton
5 Bravazo 3-1 Luis Saez D. Wayne Lukas
6 Good Magic 6-5 Jose Ortiz Chad Brown
7 Golden Brown 15-1 Jairo Rendon Pat McBurney

Lone Sailor - PP1 (Odds 5/1)

CONFIRMED - Broke his maiden by 11 lengths last Saratoga and since has been keeping very tough company. Was narrowly beaten in the G2 Louisiana Derby and most recently in the G3 Ohio Derby. Finished fifth in the Preakness, just two lengths behind Justify. Certainly has taken on the best of his generation.

Jockey: Joe Bravo | Trainer: Tom Amoss | Record: 11-1-4-1

Navy Commander - PP2 (Odds 12/1)

CONFIRMED - A wire-to-wire winner of the Long Branch Stakes - the final, local betfair.com Haskell prep. He's shown he's versatile enough to win going short or long, from on or off the pace. The nine furlongs of the Haskell would be the furthest he's run, but he's a five-time winner and certainly has shown he likes the local surface.

Jockey: Angel Arroyo | Trainer: Robert Reid, Jr. | Record: 11-5-0-1

Roaming Union - PP3 (Odds 10/1)

CONFIRMED - Runner-up in the Pegasus Stakes - a local betfair.com Haskell prep. Broke his maiden at Aqueduct in January by 12 lengths. Faced some tough competition as a 2-year-old having finished second in a MSW at Saratoga in his second career start, then 4th in Monmouth's Sapling, then fourth behind Avery Island in a MSW at Belmont. Locally based and will certainly have a home field advantage over the shippers.

Jockey: Albin Jimenez | Trainer: Kelly Breen | Record: 11-1-3-2

Core Beliefs - PP4 (Odds 4/1)

CONFIRMED - Steadily-improving colt finished third behind Justify three-back in the Santa Anita Derby, then ran second in the Peter Pan, before capturing the Ohio Derby last time out. Has shown enough versatility to win on the lead or from well off the pace. That adaptability should serve him well not only in the Haskell, but in the future as well. California-based son of Quality Road would be shipping cross country for this Grade 1 try and that's nothing to look at lightly either.

Jockey: Flavien Prat | Trainer: Peter Eurton | Record: 6-2-1-3

Bravazo - PP5 (Odds 3/1)

CONFIRMED - Competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown with his best finish being a second in the Preakness, just a half-length behind Justify. Is a Grade 2 winner, and two-time Grade 1 runner-up. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is no stranger to big races and also no stranger to the Haskell winner's circle.

Jockey: Luis Saez | Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas | Record: 11-3-2-1

Good Magic - PP6 (Odds 6/5)

CONFIRMED - The 2017 2-Year-Old Champion ran second to Justify in this year's Kentucky Derby and then fourth in the Preakness. The son of Curlin has won two races in his career and both have come in graded stakes. His tactical style should suit the Monmouth track perfectly and he has one of the nation's best trainer/jockey combos in his corner.

Jockey: Jose Ortiz | Trainer: Chad Brown | Record: 7-2-3-1

Golden Brown - PP7 (Odds 15/1)

CONFIRMED - Jersey-bred has taken his game to a new level in his last two on turf - finishing second to a good older horse in Irish Strait before winning the G3 Kent last out. He's also a two-time winner on the dirt. Local connections looking for Grade 1 score at their home track. Certainly an improving horse.

Jockey: Jairo Rendon | Trainer: Pat McBurney | Record: 7-3-3-0

Haskell Invitational Field Adds Ohio Derby Winner Core Beliefs

As much as trainer Peter Eurton would have liked to have found a softer spot as the next start for Ohio Derby winner Core Beliefs, owner Gary Broad had other ideas. The colt is heading East for the Haskell Invitational on July 29 at Monmouth Park, joining a field that is headlined by Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic and Preakness runner-up Bravazo.

"My owner wants to come. He says it's the chance of a lifetime," said the California-based Eurton. "He wants to take on Good Magic and the rest."

Third in the Santa Anita Derby behind Triple Crown winner Justify, Core Beliefs was second in the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Belmont Park on May 12 after stumbling at the start.

The son of Quality Road-Tejati then seemed to put it all together in winning the Grade 3 Ohio Derby by a nose over Lone Sailor.

"He kind of did," said Eurton. "When he broke his maiden it was his first experience going to turns. Then his first start against winners he gets Justify. He stumbled badly in the Peter Pan and was in an elongated sprint for a mile and an eighth and got nailed. That was a really good effort. So was the Ohio Derby. He seems to be coming into is own."

The mile and an eighth distance, Eurton said, suits his horse perfectly. His last three races have been at that distance.

"I like the distance because it gives him a chance to get into the race and to be tactical," Eurton said.

The horse will have 36 days between races.

"You don't know what is really perfect," said Eurton. "All you can do is go by how your horse is doing. His works up to this, especially Saturday, have been very good. That will give him eight days to recover from the work. I'm pretty confident he is going into the Haskell as good as we could possibly hope."

Unraced at 2, Core Beliefs shows a 2-1-3 line from six career starts, with lifetime earnings of $535,360.

Haskell Invitational Field Adds Jersey-Bred Golden Brown

The 2018 Haskell Invitational added a little more Jersey flavor to Sunday's 51st edition of Monmouth Park's signature race, with Grade 3 winner Golden Brown being the latest addition to field, which will number seven 3-year-olds.

Trained by Pat McBurney, Golden Brown comes in off an upset victory in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at nine furlongs on the grass at Delaware Park on July 14.

The Jersey-bred son of Offlee Wild-Suzee Sunrise is based at Monmouth Park and has raced four times at the track - three in dirt sprints and once long on the grass. He was a fast-closing second in the Dan Horn Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf at Monmouth Park on June 17.

Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic, Preakness runner-up Bravazo, Ohio Derby winner Core Beliefs, Lone Sailor, Navy Commander and Roaming Union comprise the rest of the field for the Grade 1, mile and an eighth Haskell Invitational, which headlines a stakes-filled 14-race card on Sunday.

"He has performed so well on the grass that the only way I'd consider trying him on the dirt again right now is in this race. Monmouth Park is home and it's the Haskell," said McBurney. "If you're going to try long on the dirt for the first time this would be the race. That being said, he has actually performed well on the dirt and though they've been in sprint races, his sheet numbers are equally as good as what he has run on the turf.

"I always thought he would be better going two turns. Paco Lopez rode him his first two races and loved him. He always said he wanted a distance of ground. He has certainly shown that on the turf."

Golden Brown shows three wins and three seconds from seven career starts, with lifetime earnings of $209,500.

This will be McBurney's third Haskell starter. Just Call Kenny was sixth in 2014 and Cable Boy was fifth in 2007.

So he fully understands the magnitude of the test for his colt.

"It's a very tough test," he said. "These are the best 3-year-olds in the country that are racing now and it's a distance of ground on the dirt, which we're an unknown quantity at. But it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Haskell is just for 3-year-olds, so this is his one chance. I feel like the stars are aligned for him right now. He's going into this in fantastic shape, so we'll see what happens."

Lone Sailor More Than Ready for Sunday's Grade 1 Haskell Invitational

The time-tested axiom that pace makes the race is precisely the reason that trainer Tom Amoss announced today that he has decided to send Lone Sailor - runner-up in the Ohio Derby and the Louisiana Derby - to Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Amoss was looking for a race with enough speed for his colt to run at, and the Grade 1 Haskell, he said, provides that.

"The decision was between staying where we are at Saratoga for the Jim Dandy (on Saturday) or going to the Haskell," said Amoss. "The underlying and deciding factor was the pace set-up. My horse wants to have a pace to run at, and looking at the two races and comparing the fields it was evident that there was going to be a lot more pace in the Haskell than the Jim Dandy."

Joe Bravo, Monmouth Park's 13-time riding champion, will have the mount.

Lone Sailor will join a field that includes Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic, Preakness runner-up Bravazo, Ohio Derby winner Core Beliefs, Navy Commander and Roaming Union.

Lone Sailor was beaten a nose in his last start in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby by Core Beliefs and missed winning the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby by a neck. The son of Majestic Warrior-Ambitious was eighth in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness - just two lengths behind Justify in the middle leg of the Triple Crown.

Though Lone Sailor shows a modest 1-4-1 line from 11 career starts, Amoss sees no reason why his horse can't be a factor in the second half of a wide-open 3-year-old season with Triple Crown winner Justify sidelined by an injury.

"When you look at the 3-year-old division exiting the Belmont Stakes it was Justify and then all of the rest," said Amoss. "You could probably put 20 3-year-olds out there and they'd look a lot alike. That's no disrespect to Good Magic, who will be a deserving Haskell favorite, or any of the other horses.

"This is an interesting group of 3-year-olds as opposed to other years. There are a lot that are a lot closer together after Justify and it seems like the new group is just starting to come along, just coming onto the scene. To me it's no different than Arrogate's 3-year-old year, when he came along around Travers time and ended up dominating the group the second half of the year."

Amoss said his charge has given all of the indications that he's ready to go again following what will be a five-week layoff.

"I'm really happy with my horse," said Amoss, who will be making his Haskell debut. "He's doing well, His weight is good. Everything I look at in deciding whether it is time to run, particularly knowing his personality, seems to be right."

$1 Million Haskell Invitational is First Grade 1 for Navy Commander

Trainer Robert "Butch" Reid knows exactly what he's up against in sending Navy Commander to his first graded stakes test in Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park against the likes of Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic and Preakness runner-up Bravazo.

Fortunately, said Reid, the horse doesn't.

"It's more daunting for me than it is for the horse. He probably doesn't care too much," Reid said.

For Reid, the chance is worth taking with a horse that has won two straight races and comes in off front-running victory in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth on July 7.

"Let's see where he fits," Reid said. "If there's a time to do it, it's right now. He's fast and fit and brimming with confidence coming off a couple of wins. Sometimes you get them on a roll and they can be a little better than you thought they could be."

Reid is no stranger to Monmouth Park or the Haskell. He started his training career at Monmouth in 1983, staying for 15 years before moving to Parx. His three previous Haskell starters - Afleet Again, Artic Sweep and Evil Bear - failed to hit the board in the race.

"It's exciting to have another one you can come to this race with and to be in this kind of company," he said. "This will be my fourth Haskell. I haven't gotten much done the other times but every time we've been there we've enjoyed it. I spent enough time at Monmouth to know there are about a million reasons to like it there, especially for this race."

Though Reid had high hopes early on for Navy Commander, even bringing him to Saratoga at 2 (he said he could not get the horse in a race there in time), the son of Poseidon's Warrior-Glenmary Lane was a disappointment last year, winning just once in four starts.

Navy Commander is 4-of-7 this year.

"Ever since we gelded him he has been a much better race horse," said Reid. "His first big race was right after we gelded him. It has really moved him up. It seems to have turned him around."

Navy Commander will also have an advantage Reid considers to be a key one over the rest of the field: A race over the Monmouth surface.

"I really liked the way he handled the track in the Long Branch, and that's a big reason for coming to this race," he said. "I also like the fact that it's a short ship. It's only an hour from Parx. He can sleep and rest comfortably in his stall the night before and then ship and be there in an hour on Sunday."

The undercard on Haskell Day includes the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup, the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher Stakes, the Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes, the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes and the Wolf Hill Stakes.

Roaming Union Hoping To Find His Best Stride in Haskell Invitational

Trainer Kelly Breen hasn't yet been able to coax the best out of Roaming Union but he's hoping that changes during the 3-year-old colt's next start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational.

Second by a neck in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth on June 17, Roaming Union will face his stiffest test yet in the Grade 1 Haskell.

Roaming Union, with a 1-3-2 line from 11 lifetime starts, faltered in his first try to compete with top 3-year-olds in the winter, but Breen is hoping the son of Union Rags-Double Gelato, owned by George Hall, is finally coming into his own.

"I was hoping he would get bigger and stronger in his frame at the start of the year but he never really did," said Breen, currently third in the Monmouth Park trainer standings. "Maybe he's a late bloomer. That's my hope."

Breen was encouraged by the horse's second-place finish in the Pegasus, as well as a work on July 17 of :59.60 handily for five furlongs.

"No question in my mind that the horse to beat is Good Magic," said Breen. "I don't know if we're going to be a target for Good Magic or not but I'd like to be forwardly placed and hopefully he will turn in the type of effort I think he is capable of."

Breen has had his share of success from his four previous Haskell starters, with Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice finishing third in 2011 and Praying For Cash getting second to Bluegrass Cat.

"It's the Haskell, it's my home track and we have a 3-year-old who is ready to run," said Breen. "I'm all in."

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