Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Handicap will be contested this Sunday, July 27 at Monmouth Park in Oceanside, New Jersey. A healthy $1 million purse will be on the line for three year olds willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Monmouth Park's main track.
A strong field of nine will line up in the Haskell - the main event on Monmouth Park's Sunday card. Here is a look into the past performances of all nine combatants for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes.
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2014 Haskell Invitational Handicap Race Favorite Entries
Untapable - Steve Asmussen trained filly enters on fire - four straight graded stakes scores - the Grade 1 Mother Goose last time out June 28, by 4 1/2 lenghts in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 2, the Grade 2 Fair Ground Oaks March 29 and the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on that same track in February. Her lone poor career performance came in the Breeders' Cup - an eighth place finish after two wins to start her career. Untapable has six wins and a third place finish in eight career starts and is the one to beat Saturday despite being the only female in the field. She leaves with Rosie Napravnik in the saddle looking to make history as the 2-1 favorite from post 7.
Bayern - Bob Baffert trained colt has six starts and has hit the board in all except for a disappointing ninth in the Preakness. Last time out he bounced back in a big way with a win in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park June 7. Before the Preakness was a good second after getting disqualified from victory in the Grade 3 Derby Trial Stakes at Churchill Downs April 26 and a third in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 12. He started his career with two straight wins - a maiden score at Santa Anita in January and an Allowance score at Santa Anita in February. Bayern is used to being at or near the top - more is expected on Sunday. Gary Stephens gets the mount on the 5-2 second choice from post 2.
Haskell Invitational Handicap 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Albano - Larry Jones trained colt looked to be on the Derby trail but didn't start a race in the Triple Crown - he hadn't been seen since March before a terrific win in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes on this track June 15. Before that win was an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby back on March 29 at Fair Grounds and a pair of good seconds in graded stakes action on that same track - the Grade 2 Risen Star February 22 and the Grade 3 LeComte January 18. He has three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in seven career starts - competitive virtually every time out. Kerwin Clark rides the 6-1 third choice from gate 3.
Social Inclusion - highly regarded Manuel Azpurua trained colt made his stakes debut April 5 and finished a respectable third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and followed that with another pair of good thirds - last time out in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park June 7 and in the Preakness in May. He won his other two career starts - an Allowance score over Remsen winner Honor Code in track record time at Gulfstream March 12 by 10 lengths and after breaking maiden February 22 also on that track. He now has two wins and three seconds in five career starts - very competitive in every race so far. Irad Ortiz gets the call from post 6 at 8-1 odds.
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Medal Count - Dale Romans trained colt was last seen running a good third in the Belmont Stakes after an eighth in the Kentucky Derby, a good second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 12, a win in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes April 4, a fifth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream February 22, an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 12 and an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. That followed an equally disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in October and a MSW score in his career debut - at Ellis Park September 1. Medal Count has certainly been up and down in his career; he had two terrific results in April and will be looking to regain that form Sunday. He will have Robby Alabrado aboard from the outside post at 8-1 odds.
Just Call Kenny - Patrick McBurney trained colt will race in graded stakes company for the first time Sunday but has looked good in his career - four career starts with two wins and two second place finishes. Last time out was an OK second in the minor Long Brach Stakes here July 5 after a win in his stakes debut - the minor Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream way back in January. Just Call Kenny is certainly trending upward and will have Joe Bravo in the reins from gate 5 at 10-1 odds.
Wildcat Red - has nine career starts - five wins and three seconds - the lone blemish was an ugly eighteenth in the Kentucky Derby. Last time out he bounced back with a nice win in the minor Quality Road Stakes at Gulfstream June 28. Before the Derby was a good second in the Grade 1 Florida Derby which followed a very impressive win streak - in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth February 22 and in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes February 1. Before that was a pair of seconds in minor stakes action - behind General A Rod in the Gulfstream Park Derby January 1 and in the Juvenile Sprint Stakes November 9. He started his career with a pair of wins as well. Wildcat Red will have Luis Saez guiding him at an intriguing 10-1 from gate 8.
Irish You Well - Wayne Catalano trained colt will race for the eleventh time Sunday- he has two wins, a second and five third place finishes so far. He enters on a two race win streak - the minor Lon Branch Stakes last time out July 5 and a maiden score June 15 - both results on this track. Before that was a pair of OK thirds in graded stakes action - the Grade 2 Peter Pan May 10 and the Grade 3 Illinois Derby in April. Irish You Well has placed in his last seven starts and off his only two career wins will definitely be confident ahead of this race. Orlando Bocachica will be in the irons Sunday from post 4 at 12-1 odds.
Encryption - has just four career starts for trainer Kelly Breen with a win, a second and two third place finishes and enters off a third in the minor Long Branch Stakes here July 5 and a second in the Grade 3 Pegasus also on this track. He started his career breaking maiden on this track May 24 and finishing third in a MSW also here back on September 15. Encryption will have Paco Lopez aboard looking to keep the roll going as the longest shot in the field - 20-1.