The breather after the Triple Crown season is over. The first of the summer’s top races for the sophomore dirt route set happens this Sunday, and it’s also the marquee race for the entire Monmouth Park meet: the Grade 1, $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational Stakes. In addition to the biggest share of that seven-figure purse, the winner of the Haskell also gets a Win and You’re In berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to be run November 4 at Del Mar. It is the only automatic Breeders’ Cup Classic berth offered in a race limited to three-year-olds.
This year’s edition drew a field of seven. Though none of the Classic winners will contend the Haskell, a pair of Classic-placed horses will: BATTLE OF MIDWAY finished third in the Kentucky Derby (G1), and IRISH WAR CRY was second in the Belmont Stakes (G1). This space likes one of these Classic-placed horses, and advises taking a stand against another.
Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of this year’s competitive renewal of the Haskell, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!