Haskell Stakes Predictions, Picks, Betting Odds (Monmouth Park)

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Hot Rod Charlie (6/5)

Haskell Stakes Predictions, Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 FOLLOWING SEA 4/1
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J Rosario T Pletcher
2 ANTIGRAVITY 30/1
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D Cohen J Hollendorfer
3 MANDALOUN 2/1
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F Geroux B Cox
4 HOT ROD CHARLIE 6/5
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F Prat D O’Neill
5 PICKIN’ TIME 30/1
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N Juarez K Breen
6 MIDNIGHT BOURBON 4/1
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P Lopez S Asmussen
7 BASSO 50/1
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I Castillo G Sacco

Hot Rod Charlie, third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and a strong second to the champion Essential Quality last time in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, headlines a field of seven sophomores set to go in the $1 million Haskell Stakes on Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Before his two very good efforts in the Triple Crown series, the son of Oxbow was an impressive winner of the $1 million Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Trained by Doug O’Neill and to be ridden again by Flavien Prat, Hot Rod Charlie will face a pair of familiar foes in the Grade 1 Haskell.

Mandaloun still could be named the winner of the Kentucky Derby, depending on the court’s decision on the post-race positive test of Medina Spirit. He finished second in the big one at Churchill Downs, just holding off Hot Rod Charlie. A winner of the Grade 2 Risen Star earlier this year, the Into Mischief colt finished well behind the likely favorite in the Louisiana Derby, but bounced back with a strong race in Kentucky, before winning the local Pegasus Stakes as a prep for the Haskell.

Midnight Bourbon split the two when second in the Louisiana Derby, but finished off the board in the Kentucky Derby. The winner of the Grade 3 Lecomte in January, he bounced back from his tough trip at Churchill Downs to finish second in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes in his last start.

Following Sea also should receive plenty of support in the Haskell. An impressive winner of a maiden and an allowance in his last two, the son of Runhappy will look to carry his speed in the 9 furlongs Haskell, having never previously been farther than 6 ½ furlongs.

Best Bets for the Haskell Stakes

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$5 Trifecta Part Wheel – Hot Rod Charlie over Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon over Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon and Following Sea = $20

$5 Trifecta Part Wheel – Hot Rod Charlie over Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon over Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Following Sea and Antigravity = $30

Haskell Stakes Top Pick

Our Pick

Hot Rod Charlie (6/5)

Best Pick

Odds provided by TwinSpires

How to Watch the Haskell Stakes

Haskell Stakes Information
Race Haskell Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Monmouth Park
Time Saturday, July 17 — 5:50pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $1,000,000

Race Analysis

Hot Rod Charlie


Well-proven now with five consecutive strong races against the best of the crop, it is almost surprising that he has won only one of the five considering how well he has run. The bottom line for me is that the son of Oxbow was best against his top rivals in the Louisiana Derby, and his performances in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes have done nothing to sway what I saw in New Orleans.

In fact, I believe his Belmont runner-up performance was his best race yet. If he can replicate that type of effort at Monmouth on Saturday, I believe he will score his second million-dollar victory of the year. Working very well since I expect to see another strong effort. He is the top pick.

Mandaloun

He was a wildcard for me in the Kentucky Derby, and he remains one in the Haskell. His prep was good, not great when he won locally in the Pegasus, but I believe he will need to step things up on Saturday against Hot Rod Charlie and the rest. Clearly, at his best, he is a big threat in here, but I tend to like the more proven favorite better. They have similar running styles, so we could see a bit of a chess match early. Perhaps the first jump on the leaders will be the winning one, but I am sticking with Hot Rod Charlie as the horse to beat.

Following Sea

Clearly talented, this son of Runhappy has been quite impressive while sprinting in his first three starts. Now he gets the acid test in the Haskell. While I fully expect him to use his speed from his rail post, it seems like a lot to ask of a horse, who has never before run past a sprint distance, to go all the way at 9 furlongs against some of the top colts in the division. I could see him running a good race and sticking around for much of the race, but the final furlong should be his undoing.

Midnight Bourbon


This Steve Asmussen trainee is plenty battle-tested. The son of Tiznow has run in seven consecutive graded stakes races since breaking his maiden last summer. While he has only won once in those seven, he has consistently been a factor. In fact, the only time he has finished out of the money was actually in a pretty solid effort while sixth in the Kentucky Derby after a rough trip.

Freshened since a good second in the Preakness, he should be ready to chase the speed from his outside post position. Look for an aggressive ride from new jockey Paco Lopez, which should give him every opportunity at the top of the lane. I like Hot Rod Charlie a bit better, but he is a top threat.

Pickin’ Time

This son of Stay Thirsty does have some back class, having won both the Grade 3 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct and the Smoke Glacken Stakes at Monmouth Park, but both of those victories came last year. His three races since the Nashua win ended with him well beaten in each. He returned from a layoff to run poorly in the local Jersey Derby against significantly cheaper. Perhaps he can improve off that effort, but still this looks like a very tough spot for the two-time stakes winner.

Antigravity

Of the three big longshots, this is the one I prefer. Yes, I know he lost his first ten races, but he was often in the picture and actually faced some good horses along the way. Since coming to Monmouth Park, he is 2-for-2 and rallied for the win after poor starts in each. Stepping up in class, anything better than a minor award is a tall order to be sure, but perhaps the son of First Samurai can hit the board to spice up the exotics.

Basso

The good news for this son of Cairo Prince is that he broke his maiden impressively at Monmouth Park. The bad news is he has not won since that debut 11 months ago. A poor performance in his return to the races last month does little to point him out as a potential upsetter in the Grade 1 race. I find him hard to recommend.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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