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HomeHorse RacingLouie's Look Ahead - Haskell Day 2023

Louie’s Look Ahead – Haskell Day 2023

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Louie’s Look Ahead – Haskell Day 2023 at Monmouth Park

It’s still #DerbySzn, and for this weekend’s rendition, we head to the Jersey Shore. Monmouth Park has its Derby on Saturday, the $1M Haskell Stakes. They ran the first one in 1968, and the race has risen in prominence ever since. Heck, the list s or recent winners is a testament to just this: Cyberknife, Mandaloun, Authentic, Maximum Security, Good Magic, Girvin, Exaggerator, American Pharaoh, Bayern. Woo! That’s a heluva list.

Let’s get down to it, here: Monmouth Park offers approachable takeout rates on its wagers, including 17% on straight WPS bets, and 15% on Pick 4s and Pick 5s. Exactas and Doubles are 19%; everything else is 20% and up, meaning we’ll stick to the formerly named WPS and Pick 4 / 5.

In this look-ahead, we’ll check out the late stakes, starting in race 8 on the card.

Race 8 G3 Monmouth Cup. 1 ⅛ M, dirt. 3+up. $400k.

Grade 1 winner 6 Proxy joins this field, and he’s the clear class. Proxy hasn’t picked off a graded stakes without lasix since November, when he won the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs over the well-regarded West Will Power. He was up the track in the Stephen Foster last out at Ellis, but we won’t hold that race against him. He’s performed well both off the bench and when he’s had a race under his belt, so I’ll assume he’ll fire this weekend.

If you want to make serious money on this sequence, however, go ahead and try to beat Proxy. 3 Calibrate appears to be the best candidate amongst the other entrants, coming out of a G2 place finish in the Brooklyn at Belmont Park. Prior to that, he was mostly winning listed stakes at Oaklawn and running against inferior opponents at Will Rogers Downs; trainer Jamie Ness immediately placed him here after taking on the training duties.

I’ll single Proxy here, and hope his best form shows. I think even B+ from him is good enough to win by open lengths in this company.

Top Selections: 6, 3, 7

Race 9 Wolf Hill Stakes. 5 ½ F, turf. 3+up. $100k. (Pick 4)

Let’s grab a bunch in this one, and see how it shakes out. “How wide shall we cast our net” is my personal question for this leg, as we get a mega-competitive edition of the Wolf Hill.

I think the ML maker’s top two are worthy top entrants: 7 Nothing Better (3/1) and 9 Fore Harp (7/2) are both major contenders, and while I would flip their MLs, both are getting upgrades in the saddle: Nothing Better adds Luis Saez, and Fore Harp adds Paco Lopez. Love both of those additions.

Given the layout of the course, I think a closer might be able to pick this one off, as this is essentially a one-and-a-half turn 5 ½ furlong sprint. For that reason, and the addition of Joel Rosario, I’m including 10/1 1 Eamonn, who ran them down in a handicap at five furlongs last out at Gulfstream. Sub :57 5 furlongs is a winning time, and if it gets too hectic up front, I think Joel could pick them off.

2 Mid Day Image stepped into listed company last out in the Laurel Dash, finishing third. Prior to that, he had been running big races, including three wins at three tracks. I love a horse who can take the show on the road. Include.

4 Belgrano is second off the layoff here, and adds the streaking Javier Castellano in the irons. He’s won 5 times in 12 runs at Monmouth, and is 6-for-19 at the distance. Ran an 84 Beyer speed figure off the bench last out, and could be a factor here.

If you can tell me when 5 Witty is going to win again, I’d appreciate it. I’ll pay for his ticket inclusion here, just in case jockey Tyler Gaffalione gets his best effort.

Top Selections: 9, 7, 1, 2, 4, 5

Race 10 G3 Molly Pitcher. 1 1/16 M, dirt. F&M 3+up. $500k. (Late Pick 5)

On the Horse Racing Happy Hour podcast, we encourage listeners to fall in love with the fillies, because they seem to run forever. This is one of those races: we get 4 Search Results – who has earned over $1.5M – running as a 5YO; we get three runners from the fun blanket finish that was the Allaire Dupont over Preakness weekend in Lady Jacqueline winner 5 Le Da Vida, 1 Misty Veil, and 2 Falconet; and potential late-bloomers 3 Distinctlypossible and 6 Loved. Hard to be mad at that.

Like the Monmouth Cup, we get a clear class favorite here: Search Results is dropping in class here, as there are no Clarieres or Played Hards and Secret Oaths in this one. She’s the deserved 8/5 favorite.

Le Da Vida has now run back-to-back super classy races, and will be part of the equation here if she keeps that form going. Jockey Vincent Cheminaud is flying in for this one, a clear sign the Masaiva ownership folks think there’s a legit connection between jock and mare.

I really like this spot for Loved – a potential late-blooming superstar – if she can improve on the last three races… all wins. This is a Godolphin, a Walsh/ Gaffalione. I think she can absolutely win here.

Same type of argument – 3 Distinctlypossible happens to be a Brown/ Saez combo. Has never won without lasix, so she’ll take a spot behind these other 3.

Top selections: 4, 6, 5

Race 11 G1 United Nations. 1 3/8 M, turf. 3+up. $600k. (Late Pick 4)

For obvious name reasons, we have 8 Foreign Relations and 6 Planetario on top. Ah, if only it were that simple (I swear it is – I always hear someone at the track say “I just chose it based on the name” and while I smile, I die a little on the inside).

But I’m going to include those two, names or not. Planetario loved the distance in the San Juan Capistrano last out at Santa Anita, his first win in the USA after eight starts in Brazil. Trainer Richard Mandella isn’t shipping for no reason, and while his credentials aren’t grade 1, neither is this field.

Foreign Relations would be coming in off two wins in three runs if not for a DQ at Keeneland; in the meantime, he did win the 12 furlong G3 Louisville at Churchill two back. He’ll go 11 furlongs in this one, and that seems to fit him well.

The old standby is here – my guy 9 Red Knight. He’s won a G1 already this year in the Man O War at Belmont – and it was at 11 furlongs. He has won every other race recently, an this is the every other. Put him on top for sure.

Top Selections: 9, 6, 8, 1.

Race 12 G1 Haskell. 1 ⅛ M, dirt. 3YO. $1M. (Late Pick 3)

Ah, the Haskell. I love this rendition. I think it has exactly what you want: the KY Derby winner, a major contender in Tapit Trice, the buzz horse in Extra Anejo, a Baffert potential star, a sneaky good Mandella shipper, and the Brad Cox unknown commodity. Man oh man is that a perfect lineup for this race.

I’ve gone back and forth in my mind on this one, and I think I’m fading both 4 Mage and 5 Tapit Trice. I think both can win, but I do believe the Mage camp is using this to prep for the Travers; I’ll start betting Tapit Trice when he wins one of these.

I’m putting 8 Arabian Knight on top, as I do think jockey John Velquez can get this one out front, and stay out front. He did the same on National Treasure in the Preakness, and I’m convinced he can do the same. I don’t love the 8 hole, but I’m sure he can overcome it.

I’ve been waiting for 7 Extra Anejo’s big stage breakout, and this could be it. Ran great last out at Ellis over 1 ½ turns on their mile course, and shouldn’t be bothered by the extra furlong. I think there’s a chance this is his day.

What to do with 3 Salute the Stars? Popped onto the dirt just fine last out, beating Kingsbarns in the Pegasus, the Monmouth prep for the Haskell. I’m going to guess he’s not the winner in this one, as generally speaking, the local preps for these types of races don’t give us the eventual winner.

Top selections: 8, 7, 5, 4, 3.

Good luck today! I’m going to play an all-stakes pick 4:

R9 1,2,4,5,7,9 / R10 4,6 / R11 6,8,9 / R12 7,8 $.50 base wager = $36 ticket

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