Following a 2023 Triple Crown season that saw three different horses capture each of the American classics, the race for champion 3-year-old honors heats up this summer starting with the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 22.
The Haskell Stakes is contested over 1 1/8 miles and is one of the nation’s top races for 3-year-olds. Past winners include 2020 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, and 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, who became just the second filly to win the race.
Last year’s Haskell was won by Cyberknife, who paid $17.60 to win while setting the track record for 1 1/8 miles in a final time of 1:46.24.
A field of 8 were entered for the 2023 Haskell Stakes including Kentucky Derby winner Mage, who will be making his first start since finishing third in the Preakness Stakes. Mage will be joined in the starting gate by the likes of Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winner Tapit Trice, who most recently ran third in the Belmont Stakes.
The Haskell serves as a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park. In this Haskell Stakes betting guide, we offer an overview of the field and examine which horses have the best chance of prevailing on the Jersey Shore. Post time for the Haskell is 5:47 p.m. ET
2023 Haskell Stakes Field: Post Positions, Odds, Trainers, and Jockeys
Here is the list of the Haskell Stakes contenders set to start, including their post positions, jockeys, trainers, and morning-line odds. Post time for the first race on Haskell Day is 12 p.m. ET. The 2023 Haskell will air on NBC and Peacock from 5-6 p.m. ET.
|🐎 Post Position||Trainer||Jockey||Morning Line Odds|
|PP. 1 Geaux Rocket Ride||Richard Mandella||Mike Smith||9-2|
|PP. 2 Awesome Strong||Jorge Delgado||Jose Bastista||30-1|
|PP. 3 Salute the Stars||Brad Cox||Joel Rosario||8-1|
|PP. 4 Mage||Gustavo Delgado||Javier Castellano||3-1|
|PP. 5 Tapit Trice||Todd Pletcher||Luis Saez||3-1|
|No. 6 Howgreatisnate||Elizabeth Dobles||Paco Lopez||20-1|
|PP. 7 Extra Anejo||Steve Asmussen||Tyler Gaffalione||5-1|
|PP. 8 Arabian Knight||Bob Baffert||John Velazquez||5-2|
Who is the Haskell Stakes Favorite?
Undefeated Arabian Knight was installed as the 5-to-2 favorite on the morning line for the 2023 Haskell Stakes. The son of Uncle Mo will aim to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his 10th win in the Haskell Stakes as he makes his first start in nearly six months having captured the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on Jan. 28.
“It’s exciting to win the Haskell. It’s the kind of race where as 2-year-olds, I always try and figure out who is going to be my Haskell horse,” Baffert said. “The reason we’ve been so successful there is I always bring my best horses there.”
Get to Know the Field for the 2023 Haskell Stakes
Mage shocked the racing community when he captured the Kentucky Derby in just his fourth career start but the son of Good Magic has been cooling his heels since his third-place effort in the Preakness Stakes. Mage has been training at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, KY where he has posted a few timed workouts in preparation for the Haskell.
Mage will be attempting to become just the sixth horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Haskell joining War Emblem in 2002, Big Brown in 2008, American Pharoah in 2015, Authentic in 2020, and Mandaloun in 2021. Authentic won the Kentucky Derby after the Haskell, as the Run for the Roses was held in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandaloun was named the adjudicated winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby the following May after Medina Spirit was disqualified due to a medication positive.
“We were blessed to win the Kentucky Derby and that kind of accomplishment deserves to compete at the top level of our sport as long as he is happy and healthy,” co-owner Ramiro Restrepo said of Mage. “It’s time to get the summer rolling. I believe his entire body of work and career is what defines him, not just one race. I don’t think anyone should be afraid to lose. He had a great break. We brought him back and this is the start of the second half of his 3-year-old year. We feel he is fit enough to compete and put forth a quality effort.”
Tapit Trice will be looking to get back in the win column off two defeats in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes while Salute the Stars seeks to give trainer Brad Cox his third straight Haskell triumph, having won the race in 2021 via disqualification with Mandaloun and last year with Cyberknife.
Below, we analyze why each Haskell Stakes contender can win and why each has questions that need to be answered if they hope to capture one of the most prestigious races in the sophomore division.
PP: 1 Geaux Rocket Ride (Bay colt)
- Sire: Candy Ride (ARG)
- Dam: Beyond Grace, by Uncle Mo
- Trainer: Richard Mandella
- Owner: Pin Oak Stud
- Jockey: Mike Smith
- Record and earnings: 3-2-1-0, $180,200
- Morning Line Odds: 9-to-2
- Last Race: Won Affirmed Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths on June 4.
- Why You Should Bet Him: After missing the Santa Anita Derby (G1) due to illness, Geaux Rocket Ride returned in June to capture the 1 1/16-miles Affirmed Stakes in just his third career start. The son of Candy Ride broke his maiden at first asking, winning by 5 3/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion at Santa Anita on Jan. 29 and was second to Practical Move in the Grade 2 San Felipe on March 4. Should be forwardly placed in the Haskell.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: Will be shipping outside of California and trying Grade 1 company for the first time in the Haskell so there are questions about how his lack of experience will play out against some classmates who have been there and done that at this point in their careers.
- What They’re Saying: “He’s just a classy little dude. He proved he can go in or out (of horses).” – Trainer Richard Mandella.
PP. 2 Awesome Strong (Chestnut colt)
- Sire: Awesome Slew
- Dam: Pleasant Ring, by Pleasant Tap
- Trainer: Jorge Delgado
- Owners: CSLR Racing Partners
- Jockey: Jose Bastista
- Record and earnings: 5-4-0-0. $459,200
- Morning Line Odds: 30-to-1
- Last Race: Fifth in an allowance optional claiming racing at Delaware Park on June 14.
- Why You Should Bet Him: Won his first four starts, all at Gulfstream Park, before running fifth in his sophomore debut.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: Is taking a massive step up in company as three of his prior wins came in the Florida Sire Stakes series.
PP: 3 Salute the Stars (Bay colt)
- Sire: Candy Ride (ARG)
- Dam: Star Sighting, by Malibu Moon
- Trainer: Brad Cox
- Owner: Gary and Mary West
- Jockey: Joel Rosario
- Record and earnings: 4-3-1-0, $210,960
- Morning Line Odds: 8-to-1
- Last Race: Won Pegasus Stakes by a neck on June 17.
- Why You Should Bet Him: This is the time of year when talented 3-year-olds who weren’t ready for Triple Crown season start showing up and making their presence known against good company. Such was the case for Salute the Stars in the 1 1/16-miles Pegasus Stakes when he bested Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Kingsbarns in his first stakes try and his second start of 2023. He has early speed but showed in the Pegasus he could handle being shuffled back off the pace.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: He did get rank when trying to make up ground on the backstretch during the Pegasus so there is the chance of him being too aggressive in the early going.
- What They’re Saying: “This colt is not as accomplished but he’s acted like a good horse since the day he walked in the barn. These are very good horses we are running against and obviously the top contenders are all proven horses. He definitely needs to step forward and I think he can and will. He’s had a run over the track and I’m hoping he can negotiate the first turn a little better than last time.” – Trainer Brad Cox.
PP. 4 Mage (Chestnut colt)
- Sire: Good Magic
- Dam: Puca, by Big Brown
- Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
- Owners: OGMA Investments, Ramiro Restrepo, et al.
- Jockey: Javier Castellano
- Record and earnings: 5-2-1-1, $2,288,700
- Morning Line Odds: 3-to-1
- Last Race: Third in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 20.
- Why You Should Bet Him: His win at the Kentucky Derby obviously carries plenty of weight and unlike the Preakness where he was compromised by a tepid pace, Mage should get honest fractions to run into in the Haskell should the early speed on paper materialize.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: In announcing the decision to enter the Haskell, Mage’s connections made it a point to say they were looking at this race as a ‘prep’ for their main summer goal of racing in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes in August at Saratoga. He has only posted four timed workouts since the Preakness — one of which was actually a glorified two-minute lick — and while that doesn’t mean his class can’t prevail Saturday, he is not fully cranked for this effort.
- What They’re Saying: “He had a great break after the Preakness — 17 days of no saddle and no racetrack,” said co-owner Ramiro Restrepo. “The break was good for him. We’ve only had three works since then. The weather played a role in that. But it’s time to get the train started again. Three works for this race is not ideal but we’ve got to get the ball rolling.”
PP: 5 Tapit Trice (Gray colt)
- Sire: Tapit
- Dam: Danzatrice, by Dunkirk
- Trainer: Todd Pletcher
- Owners: Whisper Hill Farm and Gainesway Stable
- Jockey: Luis Saez
- Record and earnings: 7-4-0-2, $1,033,650
- Morning Line Odds: 3-to-1
- Last Race: Third in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 10.
- Why You Should Bet Him: Everything about Tapit Trice screams class as he is a Grade 1-winning millionaire with looks to back up his form. The only time he has been worse than third came in the Kentucky Derby when he left himself way too much to do at the back of the field after a pedestrian break and could only close to seventh.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: He constantly leaves himself at the mercy of others due to his lackadaisical nature getting out of the gate and one-paced way of motoring around the oval. He always impresses during his morning workouts so there aren’t many clues to be found regarding if he’ll fire or not. Ability is not his issue, but he has to be able to get himself more involved and make his own luck if he wants to add more top-level wins to his resume.
- What They’re Saying: “Tapit Trice came out of the Belmont full of energy. I thought the Belmont was another big effort from him. He got a wide trip and I think that was the difference in the outcome. He was closing well at the end, just ran out of time. I thought he ran an improved race in the Belmont.” – Trainer Todd Pletcher.
PP: 6 Howgreatisnate (Bay gelding)
- Sire: Speightster
- Dam: Bee Dees Bid, by Tapit
- Trainer: Elizabeth Dobles
- Owner: Imaginary Stables
- Jockey: Paco Lopez
- Record and earnings: 8-5-0-1, $243,900
- Morning Line Odds: 20-to-1
- Last Race: Third in Pegasus Stakes on June 17
- Why You Should Bet Him: Overcame a wide trip to annex the Long Branch Stakes on opening day of the Monmouth Park meeting on May 13, earning a free entry and starting fees toward the Haskell. Lost all chance in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes earlier this year when he stumbled and lost his rider at the break.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: Didn’t move forward off that Long Branch win, finishing third of six in the 1 1/16-miles Pegasus on June 17.
- What They’re Saying: “I always believed the horse could go a distance. I loved his short races. He was phenomenal going short. I think he can be a better horse going longer.” – Trainer Elizabeth Dobles.
PP: 7 Extra Anejo (Bay colt)
- Sire: Into Mischief
- Dam: Superioritycomplex (IRE), by Hard Spun
- Trainer: Steve Asmussen
- Owners: Winchell Thoroughbreds
- Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
- Record and earnings: 3-2-1-0, $157,185
- Morning Line Odds: 5-to-1
- Last Race: Won allowance optional claiming race at Ellis Park on June 10 by 6 1/4 lengths.
- Why You Should Bet Him: A $1.35 million purchase out of the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Extra Anejo is getting the chance to live up to those aspirations after having his juvenile season cut short due to an ankle injury. The striking son of Into Mischief went to the sidelines after breaking his maiden at Keenland last October by 9 1/2 lengths and has returned this year to place second and first in a pair of allowance optional claiming races at Churchill Downs and Ellis Park, respectively.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: It’s tough sledding having to face the Kentucky Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes victor in your first try a) at graded stakes company b) at going beyond one mile but the raw talent is obviously there.
- What They’re Saying: “He is a very physically impressive horse and carries himself with a lot of confidence. He is stepping into stakes company but he’s seen plenty of good company in the morning and I feel he is up to this. He’s been extremely obvious from Day One.” – Trainer Steve Asmussen.
PP: 8 Arabian Knight (Bay colt)
- Sire: Uncle Mo
- Dam: Borealis Night, by Astrology
- Trainer: Bob Baffert
- Owners: Zedan Racing
- Jockey: John Velazquez
- Record and earnings: 2-2-0-0, $544,275
- Morning Line Odds: 5-to-2
- Last Race: Won Grade 3 Southwest Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths on Jan. 28.
- Why You Should Bet Him: No trainer has mastered the art of bringing a horse up to the Haskell like Bob Baffert, who has won the race a record nine times. Baffert will have a particular challenge on his hands with the talented but inexperienced Arabian Knight, who hasn’t raced since leading every point of call while taking the Southwest Stakes over Red Route One.
- Why You Should Save Your Money: Again, this is a lightly-raced horse who hasn’t had a competitive outing in nearly six months. Arabian Knight was taken out of training and missed the Kentucky Derby “to allow him more time to develop” owner Amr Zedan said in a statement in March.
- What They’re Saying: “I think he’s doing well. He is pretty fit and I think he’s ready for the 1 1/8 miles. He’s trained well. It’s going to be a tough race and so the break will be important. But I feel good about the way he’s going into the race. Conditioning wise, he’s ready for it.” – Trainer Bob Baffert.
Which Trainer Has Won the Haskell the Most Times?
Bob Baffert has established himself as the king of the Jersey Shore, winning the Haskell a record nine times (2001, 2002, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2020). Baffert’s first Haskell win came with Point Given in 2001 and his most recent Haskell winner was eventual Horse of the Year Authentic in 2020.
Is Fixed Odds Wagering on the Haskell Available?
Beginning Opening Day 2023, fixed odds wagering is available at Monmouth Park at select tellers on the first floor of the Grandstand and the first floor of the Clubhouse.