There are plenty of storylines ahead of the TVG.com Haskell Stakes on Saturday, July 23. New Jersey’s biggest day of racing at Monmouth Park along the Jersey Shore includes five graded stakes on the 14-race card headlined by the $1 million Haskell.
Since 2001, the Haskell winner has garnered Horse of the Year honors four times. Seven have been named the top 3-year-old:
- Point Given (2001)
- Rachel Alexandra (2009)
- American Pharoah (2015)
- Authentic (2020)
This year’s field has three runners from the 2022 Kentucky Derby, including slight Haskell favorite Taiba (3-2). His biggest threat is Jack Christopher (3-2), who was sidelined with a stress fracture in his shin ahead of last year’s Breeders’ Cup and returned to racing in May with a win. Jack Christopher won again in June and is now 4-for-4 in his career.
Haskell Stakes field and odds 2022
|1||Cyberknife||6-1||Florent Geroux||Brad Cox|
|2||Taiba||7-5||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|3||One Time Willard||30-1||Paco Lopez||John Stephens|
|4||Howling Time||10-1||Joe Talamo||Dale Romans|
|5||King of Hollywood||30-1||Nik Juarez||Gregg Sacco|
|6||White Abario||5-1||Joel Rosario||Saffie Joseph Jr.|
|7||Jack Christopher||3-2||Jose Ortiz||Chad Brown|
|8||Benevengo||20-1||Angel Rodriguez||Jesus Cruz|
You can watch and wager on horse racing for all races at TVG as part of its comprehensive daily package. In addition, TVG offers new players a $300 bonus wager, and the leading online racing and betting platform covers horse racing from coast to coast and includes dozens of race tracks. Del Mar opens this weekend with five stakes races and is “Cool as Ever” with its stylish venue just north of San Diego along the Pacific Ocean. Saratoga begins its second week of summer racing in charming Saratoga Springs in upstate New York and races into the weekend off a massive opening week with an 18% jump in year-over-year betting handle.
Haskell Stakes top win contenders
As you watch and wager on this year’s Haskell Stakes (previously Invitational), know there are as many as four Haskell entrants who could catapult into contention for year-end honors with a big effort in the 1 1/8-mile (nine-furlong) test for 3-year-olds. That includes unplaced Kentucky Derby runners Taiba, White Abarrio, and Cyberknife. But Jack Christopher has been the most dominant horse as he stretches out in distance and could close as the post-time favorite.
Cyberknife is a son of the great Gun Runner, conditioned by EPO trainer Brad Cox, who won the Haskell last year with Mandaloun and was beaten by a nose. However, following a stewards inquiry that found interference in the stretch by Hot Rod Charlie, he was declared the winner. Mandloun had four races last year where he posted Equibase Speed Figures (ESF) of at least 109, and Cyberknife’s best ESF was 104 when winning the Matt Winn (G3) in June. Cyberknife also won the Arkansas Derby (G1) and has three wins in five starts this year.
Gun Runner also sired Taiba for another EPO trainer, Bob Baffert, who took over conditioning of this colt on July 3 when his 90-day suspension ended. Taiba was unraced as a 3-year-old and is 2-for-3 this year with a win in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) but a poor 12th place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) as one of the leading favorites. Taiba ships in from his Santa Anita base in California with some very sharp bullet workouts.
White Abarrio won the Holy Bull (G3) and Florida Derby (G1) before a dud and 16th place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He recently finished a close second in the Ohio Derby (G3) as a co-favorite and improved his ESF to a career-best 106. Other than the Kentucky Derby, White Abarrio has finished in the money in all six races and won four times.
Jack Christopher is 4-for-4 in his career and dominated those races to win by a combined 25 lengths. However, he’s never raced beyond 1 mile but has three triple-digit speed figures, including 109 EFS when winning the seven-furlong Woody Stevens last month at Belmont.
Others: One Time Willard is a Jersey-bred who has only won a maiden race and makes his graded stakes debut void of any speed figures (ESF) above 85. Howling Time makes his fifth graded stakes start with his best finish (second) in the Matt Winn. After that, he went wire to wire but was nipped by a nose in the last jump by Cyberknife while posting his best-ever ESF of 104. King of Hollywood has made 13 starts over the past year, and it took him 10 races to break his maiden. He’s stabled at Monmouth Park, where he won an Allowance race in May with his best speed figure (90) and comes off a distant last-place finish in the TVG.com Pegasus Stakes. Benevengo is based at Monmouth Park and moves up sharply to a Grade 1 race after finishing fourth in a minor stakes in May. He’s won his other three starts, including a front-end Allowance win here last month.
Other stakes races at Monmouth Park
Check out the packed racing schedule at Monmouth Park on Saturday, as the list of graded stakes offers great betting opportunities. Post time for Race 1 is 12 p.m. ET. The graded stakes start in Race 8 at 3:29 p.m. ET, and the Haskell Stakes is Race 12 at 5:45 p.m. ET.
- Race 8 – $400,000 Monmouth Cup (G3) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles
- Race 9 – $200,000 WinStar Matchmaker (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf
- Race 10 – $400,000 Molly Pitcher (G3) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles
- Race 11 – $600,000 United Nations (G1) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the turf
- Race 12 – $1,000,000 Haskell (G1) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
Saturday’s TVG.com Haskell Stakes offers an automatic berth to the Nov. 5 Longines Classic at Keeneland. The Haskell will be televised by NBC Sports as part of its “Road to Breeders’ Cup” series, airing on CNBC during a show from 5 to 6 p.m. ET. You can also watch and wager on the races at Monmouth on TVG.