In-depth analysis of the Haskell Invitational including Pace Figures and Form Cycle Pattern of each starter. Please refer to the Legend or Pattern Guide for back-up definitions and patterns.
The $1,000,000 Grade I Haskell Stakes run at 9 furlongs for 3 year-olds, takes place at 5pm ET on NBC on Sunday.
Dominated by the two of the top trainers in the business, Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert have won this race a combined seven times in ten years.
And while Baffert sends Bayern and Pletcher's absence is notable, the real storyline is the 3 year-old filly sensation, Untapable as she takes on the boys for the first time in her life after dominating the filly division. Untapable looks to become only the third filly in 46 years to win the Haskell, following in Serena Song and Rachel Alexandra's footsteps.
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for the Haskell Invitational here
Just a maiden winner, he has the least amount of earnings in the field with $67,000. From a Pace Figure perspective, Encryption's his last race of 75 is not competitive.
The Play: Too Slow – as a matter of fact, way too slow.
Here's what we had to say about Bayern prior to the Preakness
Bob Baffert has dominated the Haskell Stakes winning three of the last four. Martin Garcia flies in to ride, a trusted and strong rider for Coach Baffert. At times Bayern has shown moments of brilliance. When referring to brilliance in horse racing, it's taken to mean the ability for a dirt runner to clearly separate from its competition – exactly what he did in his last race winning the Grade II Woody Stephen's by seven lengths.
Turning to his Pace Figures, Bayern's last race was a DTOP (Double Top Pace Top) Form Cycle Pattern which is when a horse runs his fastest lifetime 4f and Final Pace Figure by a notable margin. In this case Bayern's last race was 81.2/88.6 up from a 72.3/72.8. This increase of nine points in his Final Pace Figure and almost 14 points in his 4f figure are significant.
The Play: Regression – DTOP is a negative designation combined with a morning line of 5:2 makes for no value with risk.
Albano ran competitively in the mid-west, running second a few times behind a couple Derby runners (who performed poorly in the Derby). While his first race back was solid here at Monmouth, he is a step down for his competition.
From a Pace Figure perspective, his two lifetime highest final figures are 74.4 and 74.2.
The Play: Over His Head – looks to be a Grade II runner at best, not competitive against these Grade I's.
Irish You Well
Seven of nine runners in the field broke their maiden first out, with the exception of Albano who took two starts and Irish You Well who took NINE starts to win his first race.
His last race Final Pace Figure was a lifetime best of 76.5 after never running better than a 75.
The Play: Over His Head – another runner who is more suited for at Grade III stakes level.
Just Call Kenny
One of three runners in the Haskell (Encryption and Irish You Well being the other) who most recently raced at Monmouth in the Long Branch Stakes, “Kenny” does show some intrigue as he handled the stretch-out in distance from 6f to 8.5f, a tough task for a young horse.
Turning to his figures, his last race was a REV (Reversal) Form Cycle Pattern. A positive pattern for both young and stretch-out horses, the REV indicates the first time a horse runs a faster final figure then a 4f figure. In Kenny's case, you'll notice his 77.6/66.3 as a big improvement off his three prior races, though that 77.6 is also a lifetime top by four points, which is concerning.
The Play: Outclassed – This is a nice horse who will get better and compete at a Graded Stakes level, unfortunately he meets a very tough field in his first graded stakes go.
Here's what we had to say about Social Inclusion prior to the Preakness
Social Inclusion continues to try and find his best effort after finishing third his last three starts in the Wood Memorial, Preakness Stakes and Woody Stephens (lost to Bayern) respectively. He's burned a lot of money as well going off as the favorite in two of those three races. Journeyman jockey Edgar Prado hops aboard as the third jockey in last three starts.
Looking at his Pace Figures, his last effort was a NPT (New Pace Top) of 76.3/87.5. That 87.5 is 10 points higher than the average of his last three efforts, not surprising it was so high considering he ran into Bayern. Looking at his three races prior, he ran 78/75, 78.6/78.4 and 82/73.5, at a mile or longer which means this 9f distance could be to his liking.
The Play: Fringe contender – a tough horse to figure, he will eventually have a breakout Grade I, though not certain it will be here.
This superstar filly has won her last four Graded Stakes races by a combined 30 lengths. She won with the greatest of ease in each, including the Grade I Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose from Belmont Park. Not since Rachel Alexandra have we seen such a dominating filly.
Looking to follow in RA's footsteps, Untapable can become only the second filly to win the Haskell as she takes on the boys for the first time. In a race with a lot of speed, Untapable has stalking – push button running style which is perfectly suited in here.
Turning to her Pace Figures, her Final Pace Figure average over the last four races is ~78, competitive with the best in the field. What's tough to factor is how much higher her figures could be if she was all out in those races.
The Play: Contender – She will take a lot of money and be the post time favorite which means there may not be huge value even sitting on a superstar performance. Also, don't underestimate the change to running against colts, it's quite a task.
Here's what we had to say about Wildcat Red prior to the Kentucky Derby
Beside his poor effort in the Kentucky Derby (which is not surprising given the field size and traffic), Red has yet to finish worse than second in his lifetime. This consistent effort for a Grade I runner is impressive (note: all races have been at Gulfstream Park).
His last race was a NPT (New Pace Top) of 77.3/88.3 against a weaker field winning by 10 lengths following his subpar Derby effort.
The Play: Value Play – Coming off a NPT and if he can get back to his early spring pace figure level, Cat will have value on the tote board.
Here's what we had to say about Medal Count prior to the Belmont Stakes
Medal Count has turned into a consistent Grade I performer, most recently finishing a closing third in the Belmont Stakes. The only runner in the field to turn back in distance, his closing style might fit nicely against a number of these speedy foes.
Turning to his Pace Figures, you'll notice a consistent set of final figures the last four races with a decreasing set of 4f figures. This means his dirt spread (final figure minus 4f figure), has improved from 6.5 – 7.8 – 6.8 – 8.9, indicating a runner who is improving his ability to manage his speed and run late in a race.
The Play: Contender – Off the pace running style and consistent Pace Figures can put Medal Count in the mix, but likely underneath more than on top (2nd and 3rd).