Las Vegas, NV - The much anticipated Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Stakes will take place this Sunday, July 29th on a busy day of racing from Monmouth Park on the Jersey Shore. Some of the best three year olds in the land will be after their share of the $1 million purse when they go 1 1/8 miles on Monmouth's dirt track.
The Haskell has drawn a very strong but small field of six for race 13 on Monmouth's insanely packed Sunday card. Post time is 6:17 PM. Here is a look at the past performances of the six combatants and what we can expect in this lucrative Grade 1 race.
2012 Haskell Invitational Stakes Race Favorites
Paynter - Bob Baffert trained Paynter will be racing for the first time since a very impressive second in the Belmont, looking for a sixth Haskell Stakes win for Baffert. Paynter debuted with an impressive 4 ½ length win in a 4 ½ furlong Maiden Special Weight race on February 18th at Santa Anita, finished fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and bounced back with a second at the Grade 3 Derby Trial Stakes at Churchill Downs and a win in an Allowance last time out at Pimlico. He is scary fast and is surely the favorite for the Haskell.
Dullahan - finished third in the Kentucky Derby to follow up a win at the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14th . He most recently finished a disappointing seventh in the Belmont but he certainly can't be discounted ahead of this race. In four starts in 2012 Dullahan has a win, a second and a third place finish for trainer Dale Romans. Dullahan is a tad inconsistent but when he puts it all together he can definitely be a force.
Gemologist - Todd Pletcher trained son of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow has six career starts with 5 wins including the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes on April 7th and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November. He will be on the track for the first time since an ultra-disappointing 16th at the Kentucky Derby - revenge and redemption will be sought for Mr. Pletcher! Gemologist has the pedigree, the training and the results to seriously contend despite a brutal Kentucky Derby.
Haskell Invitational Stakes 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Nonios - made his graded stakes debut in the Grade 3 Affirmed and impressively defeated the likes of Liaison and followed it up with another impressive result - a second in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes on July 4th. He broke maiden at Golden Gate on February 11th and followed it up with a win and a third respectively in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races at Golden Gate. Lightly raced Nonios has three wins a second and a third place finish in four career starts.
Haskell Invitational Stakes betting at Monmouth Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Stealcase - won a Maiden Special Weight race to start 2012 and followed it with three straight sub-par results. Lately Stealcase has looked decent - a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs in May was followed by an OK second last time out in the Grade 2 Matt Winn Stakes on that same track on June 16th.
Handsome Mike - has just one win in seven career starts - a Maiden Special Weight score at Santa Anita in October. Handsome Mike started 2012 with a fourth in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes, followed it with a third in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby in February and was fourth last time out in the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway back in March.
2012 Haskell Invitational Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 13 on Monmouth Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 6:17 PM.