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Additional Anejo Can Publish the Upset in Haskell Stakes

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This yr’s $1 million, Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park drew a powerful area of eight together with Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Introduced by Woodford Reserve winner Mage, who completed third within the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes when final seen.

Three others enter the race off stakes wins, topped by Arabian Knight, who returns from practically seven months off and a win within the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes. Geaux Rocket Trip ships in from California off a win within the Affirmed Stakes and matches with these horses, as does Salute the Stars, winner of the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth final month. Tapit Trice provides depth to the sphere, having received the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes in April earlier than posting a seventh-place end within the Kentucky Derby after which a third-place effort within the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes Introduced by NYRA Bets. Howgreatisnate received the Lengthy Department Stakes in Could at Monmouth after which completed third behind Salute the Stars within the Pegasus. Additional Anejo enters the Haskell off a 6 ¼-length win in his first attempt round two turns and is one other with an opportunity. Superior Sturdy rounds out the sphere having received the primary 4 begins of his profession together with the Florida Sire In Actuality Stakes, all in 2022, and he completed fifth in his solely begin this yr.

Evaluation and high contenders:

Though lots of the eight entrants on this yr’s Haskell Stakes have confirmed aggressive on the stage, I feel Additional Anejo, who has but to run in a stakes race, is sweet sufficient to take his first step into high firm and win. After profitable his debut final fall by 9 ½ lengths with pace to spare – and incomes a really sturdy 99 Equibase Pace Determine for a 2-year-old – Additional Anejo was away from the races for practically seven months. Returning in a dash in Could, he completed second with an 89 determine, however in his second begin again he was a significantly better horse. This got here in his first attempt in a route, run at a mile at Ellis Park, on June 10. Not solely did he enhance lots to earn a 100 determine, Additional Anejo confirmed the maturity of a horse that has run many instances as he relaxed in second about 4 lengths off the early chief after which glided by in a flash to open up by six lengths in helpful vogue. Since he’s a son of Into Mischief, I’ve little doubt Additional Anejo can succeed on the Haskell’s 1 1/8-mile distance as two of the final three editions of the Haskell have been received by sons of Into Mischief – Genuine in 2020 and Mandaloun in 2021. He ought to proceed his sample of enchancment in his third begin and second route off the layoff, and if he does simply that, Additional Anejo might be able to sit in stalking vary behind doubtless early chief Arabian Knight and go by late to put up the slight upset.

Geaux Rocket Trip has run 3 times in his profession, the identical as Additional Anejo, and he too is on a sample for enchancment. Geaux Rocket Trip received his dash debut in January simply by practically six lengths, incomes a powerful 101 determine. 5 weeks later he went proper into the large leagues, ending second round two turns within the San Felipe Stakes and bettering to a 104 determine. Given two months off, Geaux Rocket Trip returned final month within the Affirmed Stakes, and in that race he ran very equally to the way in which Additional Anejo did in his latest win, stalking in third place for the primary three quarters of a mile then shifting up rapidly to steer earlier than being unchallenged the size of the stretch. That effort earned a 95 determine, however contemplating Geaux Rocket Trip is making his second begin off a layoff, and contemplating the 104 determine effort previous to his relaxation, significantly better is anticipated. Corridor of Fame coach Richard Mandella not often ships out of California however does very properly when he does. Per a Race Lens question, Mandella has solely began 5 horses in graded stakes routes on grime when transport exterior of California up to now 5 years, profitable with two of these together with Omaha Seaside within the 2019 Insurgent Stakes and Soothsay within the 2021 Indiana Oaks, each races for 3-year-olds. With Corridor of Fame jockey Mike Smith coming in from California for the mount, Geaux Rocket Trip have to be taken very severely as a contender.

Arabian Knight may be my best choice if not for the actual fact he’s getting back from practically six months off, operating two turns with out a prep race and dealing with some critical expertise within the Haskell. After profitable his debut final fall with a 98 determine (much like Additional Anejo and Geaux Rocket Trip), Arabian Knight was off for practically three months however not solely returned a winner, he did so in a two-turn race, the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Sadly one thing has saved him away from the races since then, however he’s been working very quick in California for Bob Baffert and sure can fireplace his finest shot, which might be a repeat of the 106 determine effort within the Southwest.

Honorable point out goes to Mage, Salute the Stars, and Tapit Trice, who’re all high 3-year-olds however who I really feel are a bit much less possible to win this race than Additional Anejo, Geaux Rocket Trip or Arabian Knight. Mage earned a career-best 104 determine profitable the Kentucky Derby, which adopted a 102 determine earned when making the lead within the Curlin Florida Derby Introduced by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa earlier than being handed by Forte late within the race. In his solely race because the Derby, Mage had little probability within the Preakness Stakes as his late kick was deprived by the sluggish tempo set by winner Nationwide Treasure. Salute the Stars received the native prep for this race, the Pegasus Stakes, final month with a 104 determine that’s aggressive on this area if repeated, and an enchancment from the 98 determine earned one month earlier. Tapit Trice ran the most effective race of his profession when profitable the Blue Grass Stakes in April, incomes a 103 determine, earlier than a disappointing seventh within the Derby (91 determine) and a third-place effort within the Belmont Stakes with a 99 determine.

The remainder of the sphere, with their finest Equibase Pace Figures, is Superior Sturdy (97) and Howgreatisnate (100).

Win Contenders in choice order:

Additional Annex

Geaux Rocket Trip

Arabian Knight

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