2017 Haskell Invitational Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey will be the scene of the biggest race of the weekend - the G1 Haskell Invitational will be run Sunday, July 30. A purse of $1 million will be on the line for a group of three year olds willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Monmouth Park's dirt track.

A wide-open quality-filled field of seven will line up in he Haskell Invitational - race 12 on Monmouth Park's busy Sunday card. Post time is 5:47 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this lucrative and intriguing G1 stakes - five of which are already graded stakes winners.

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2017 Haskell Invitational Entries at Monmouth Park

Irish War Cry 5-2

Graham Motion trained colt will hit the track for the eighth time Saturday having posted four wins and a second-place finish in his seven starts so far. Last time out was a quality runner-up finish to Tapwrit in the G1 Belmont Stakes June 10 after a disappointing tenth in the Kentucky Derby, a nice win in the G2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 8 and an almost unfathomable seventh as even-money favorite in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park March 4. Before that he won the G2 Holy Bull Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure at Gulfstream February 4 and won the restricted Marylander Stakes December 31 at Laurel Park. Irish War Cry was firmly in the Kentucky Derby conversation but has been a tad tough to figure out most recently. He tries to gain a little consistency Sunday with Rajiv Maragh in the saddle of the slight morning line favorite from the rail.

Timeline 3-1

Late-blooming Chad Brown trained colt has four career starts and four nice wins - on four different tracks. Last time out was in gate-to-wire fashion in the G3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park June 18 after wins in his graded stakes debut - the G3 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park May 13, an Allowance Optional Claiming April 6 and a maiden score at Gulfstream March 4. Timeline hasn't been touched so far and hopes stay undefeated Sunday. Flavien Prat rides the morning line second choice from post 3.

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Practical Joke 4-1

Chad Brown trained colt has eight career starts with four good wins, two seconds and a third-place finish. He won by five lengths as favorite in a six-furlong maiden race at Saratoga August 6, he won the G1 Hopeful Stakes by a game neck on that track September 5 and posted victory in the G1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 8. Last time out was a good two length win in the G3 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park July 8 which followed a quality fifth in the Kentucky Derby, a respectable second in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 8 and a decent second in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park March 4. Before that was a decent third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile November 5. Practical Joke has been a factor in every race so far in his career, has looked sharp in works leading up to this weekend and could be a factor Sunday. Joel Rosario gets the call on the third betting choice from gate 4.

McCraken 9-2

Ian Wilkes trained gelding has seven career starts with five impressive wins and a third-place finish. Last time out was a nice bounce-back 2 1/4 length win as favorite in the G3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs June 17 which followed an eighth thanks to a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby and a third in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 8. He won his first four starts including the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay February 11, by 1 1/4 lengths in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 26, by 3 3/4 lengths in the minor Street Sense Stakes October 30 and a maiden score at first asking October 2 - the last three at Churchill Downs. McCraken has been impressive so far in his career and hopes to build on a nice effort last time out Sunday with Brian Joseph Hernandez guiding him from post 5.

Battle Of Midway 5-1

Has placed in all six career starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer - three wins, a second and two third place finishes. Last time out was a good 4 1/4 length win in the G3 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita June 24 which followed a respectable third at 40-1 odds in the Kentucky Derby on May 6, a good second in the G1 Santa Anita Derby April 8 and another one of his wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming March 9. He started his career with a third in the G2 San Vicente Stakes February 12 and a win at first asking - January 21. Battle of Midway has been a factor every time out and hopes to get his second straight graded stakes score. He leaves from gate 2 Sunday with Flavien Prat aboard.

Girvin 6-1

Has placed in five of six career starts for trainer Joe Sharp - three wins and two runner-up finishes. He enters off an OK second behind the emerging Irap in the G3 Ohio Derby at Thistletown June 24 which followed his worst career start - a bad-trip thirteenth in the Kentucky Derby. That result followed two straight impressive graded stakes scores - the G2 Louisiana Derby April 1 by 1 1/4 lengths and the G2 Risen Star Stakes by two lengths February 25 - both at Fair Grounds. He had a second in the minor Keith Gee Memorial Overnight Stakes before that February 4 and a maiden score at first asking December 16. Girvin was an early contender on the Triple Crown trail and shoots for his biggest win to date Sunday. Robby Albarado has the mount from the outside post 7.

Hence 12-1

Steve Asmussen trained colt has three wins, a second and a third-place finish in his nine career starts. Last time out was a nice last-to-first win in the G3 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadow July 7 which followed a ninth in the Preakness Stakes May 20, a pedestrian eleventh in the G1 Kentucky Derby May 6, a nice upset 3 3/4 length win in the G3 Sunland Derby March 26 and a disappointing seventh in the G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park February 20. Before that he posted a maiden score on that track January 16 and a second, a third and a seventh respectively in MSW races to start his career. Hence has been hot-or-miss so far in his career and hopes for a second straight graded stakes win Sunday. Paco Lopez is scheduled to ride from gate 6.

2017 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 Irish War Cry 5-2 Rajiv Maragh H. Motion
2 Battle of Midway 5-1 Flavien Prat Jerry Hollendorfer
3 Timeline 3-1 Javier Castellano Chad Brown
4 Practical Joke 4-1 Joel Rosario Chad Brown
5 McCraken 9-2 Brian Hernandez, Jr. Ian Wilkes
6 Hence 12-1 Paco Lopez Steven Asmussen
7 Girvin 6-1 Robby Albarado Joe Sharp

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