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Haskell Invitational 2014 Picks; Girl Vs. Boys: Can Untapable Prevail?

Haskell Invitational 2014 Picks; Girl Vs. Boys: Can Untapable Prevail?: The 47th running of the (GI) William Hill Haskell Invitational is scheduled for Sunday, July 27th at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey for 3 year-olds running 1 1/8 miles on the dirt for a purse of $1,000,000. This is a major race in-between the U.S. Triple Crown series and the Breeders Cup which awards the winner one of the most prestigious trophies in thoroughbred racing, Haskell Invitational Trophy. (updated race replay)

Haskell Invitational 2014 Picks

Untapable, pictured above in the Mother Goose, is the one to beat and should win the Haskell Invitational on Sunday, July 27, 2014 at Monmouth Park.
Photo: Coglianese/NYRA

This race gots its name in 1968 when the Board of Directors of Monmouth Park Racetrack honored its former President and Chairman Amory L. Haskell (1893-1966) and was originally called the Amory L. Haskell Handicap. It has been running under stakes conditions since the 2006 race. Eight winners from the Haskell Invitational have gone on to win their divisional championship honors.

The Haskell has been won by racing greats such as Horse of the Year Point Given, Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, Vox Populi Award winner Paynter and most recently Verrazano who blew away the field with the largest winning margin of 9 3/4 lengths in 2013. The race record is held by 2 colts Bet Twice and Majestic Light in 1:47.00. Trainer Bob Baffert has won a record six Haskell Invitationals and will be barking-up-the-tree for a seventh with Bayern in the field.

Get ready to enjoy the ultimate day of racing on the Jersey Shore and the richest invitational in the United States. The William Hill Haskell will be shown on NBC and is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” with the victor getting an automatic berth to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic set for Saturday, November 1st, 2014. I can’t wait!

The 2014 Haskell Invitational has a start time of 5:44 pm, EDT and is the 12th race of the day along with five other stakes races on a card of 13. Looks like a great lineup and I’m not missing any of Monmouth Sunday.

Kari’s Picks and Plays:

My top play in this race going to a son of Pioneerof The Nile Social Inclusion, whom from what I’ve read is said to have matured and is calmer. He is best known for defeating Honor Code by 10 lengths breaking a track record. He comes into this race off three 3rd place graded stakes finishes. He was the beaten favorite in the (GI) Wood Memorial beaten by 3 1/2 lengths. In this years Preakness, he was beaten by 8 lengths and last out again the beaten favorite by 7 1/2 lengths in the (GII) Woody Stephens. He was beaten by Bayern in that race and I think he’ll turn the tables on him here. This guys speed is his fortay and he hasn’t really used it to its full potential these last three races. If he can relax and fire from all cylinders, look out, he’ll leave them in the dust. Social Inclusion gets a new rider with Prado up from post #6.

Another speedball I like that I think as a little upside is Wildcat Red. This fleet footed son of D’wildcat has a race record of 9:5:3:0 and his only worse than second finish was 18th in the 2014 Kentucky Derby on May 3rd where he bobbled from the start, was bumped and never got to the lead. The Jose Garofallo trainee blew home in a 10 1/4 length triumph going 1 1/16 on the dirt at Gulfstream in the Quality Road Stakes last out, beating East Hall who most recently won the Ohio Derby. He has found success at the distance of 1 1/16 and shorter. He was second at this distance to Constiution in March. I think he has the tenacity to garner a win here if he doesn’t get caught up in a huge pace duel. He most recently is reported to really like the Monmouth track from his assistant trainer Nick Galati where he breezed 4f on July 20th in 48.80. Can he run outside of Gulfstream and win? I think so from post # 8 with Saez in the saddle.

Handsdown Untapable is the one to beat and should win this race. I see two scenarios, either the speed holds up and one of the speedballs wins or Untapable. Or, the speed takes its toll and a closer nails it. Untapable is not going to be very playable so I’ll wager against her winning.

I’m shooting for the speed to hold up Sunday. Social Inclusion looks to be perfectly placed here and with plenty of gas left in the tank, he could win this. I’ll be looking for the cat to be let out of the bag with Wildcat Red clawing up the track to also hit the board. There is a ton of speed in here with Social Inclusion, Bayern, Albano and Encryption along with pace pressers Irish You Well and Untapable. Could this end up being a race calling for a closer? If you think so I’d add in Just Call Kenny, he has raced on the track recently running 2nd to Irish You Well on July 5th and he’ll have juicy odds. He could have a shot here. I’m keep my bet small. My play is going to be a $2 DD starting Race #11 4,8,10/6,8 and a small Win/Place bet on either #6 Social Inclusion or #8 Wildcat Red, whomever has the better odds post-time. If Untapable wins, I’ll only be out a little beer money. Good luck to everyone and thanks to Sigi for adding his picks and play.

Sigi’s Picks and Plays:

In the Haskell Invitational, I like Medal Count as my first choice. If the pace turns very hot, his chances increase a lot! Since his Belmont Stakes effort, he’s working very well and all indicate he’s fit. My second choice is Social Inclusion. I think the Woody Stephens was not his target and if he duplicates his Wood Memorial race, he will be very tough.

My play will be Win/Place/Show on Medal Count as I expect a fast pace in the race and I hope he hits for board first.

2014 Haskell Invitational Post Positions & Odds
1. Encryption 20-1 P.Lopez/K.Breen
2. Bayern 5-2 M.Garcia/B.Baffert
3. Albano 6-1 K.Clark/L.Jones
4. Irish You Well 12-1 J.Lezcano/W.Catalano
5. Just Call Kenny 10-1 J.Bravo/P.McBurney
6. Social Inclusion 8-1 E.Prado/M.Azpurua
7. Untapable 2-1 R.Napravnik/S.Asmussen
8. Wildcat Red 10-1 L.Saez/J.Garoffalo
9. Medal Count 8-1 R.Albarado/D.Romans