2023 Haskell Stakes Morning Line Odds, Pace Scenario, Potential Bets
Why should the $1 million Haskell Stakes be any less wide-open than the other three-year-old thoroughbred summits this year? Parity holds true in horse racing odds for the 56th edition, unfolding Saturday at 5:47 p.m. ET from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. Lock in a $20 No-Sweat Bet for the Haskell at FanDuel Racing. If your first win bet on Haskell odds loses, you’ll get up to $20 in bonus bets back to use on other races. Click PLAY NOW below to get started.
Below, we’ll break down the morning line odds for the Haskell, as well as the potential pace scenario and bets I’m considering.
2023 Haskell Stakes Morning Line Odds
A field of eight that includes two Triple Crown graduates should provide enough balance to keep betting odds honest for nationwide gamblers, who can watch the race on NBC. Bettors embrace the first major event in the second half of the 2023 campaign. It carries an automatic berth to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.
As with all horse racing wagering, odds will shift until the start of the race. Your odds lock in when the starting gate opens, not when you place the bet, as it is in traditional sports betting.
|Geaux Rocket Ride
|Salute The Stars
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Arabian Knight drew the outside post and early-favorite odds of 5-2 in a field of eight, despite not having raced since January. He will jockey in the odds and the track with two prominent Triple Crown graduates. Mage, who won the Kentucky Derby and finished third at the Preakness, breaks from the No. 4 post. Tapit Trice, third in the Belmont Stakes, occupies the No. 5 hole. Who will shine in this 1 1/8-mile race? Almost anybody.
This year is like the horse racing equivalent of the PGA TOUR in golf, in which there is no dominance but lively competitiveness at every stop. The Triple Crown races had three different winners (Mage, National Treasure, Arcangelo), and it may be this balanced all the way to the Breeders’ Cup.
1. Geaux Rocket Ride (9-2)
Trainer Richard Mandella says jockey Mike Smith figures to use early speed to gain position. Monmouth is speed-favoring, but early foot is not an absolute ticket to victory. Jack Christopher had the early 2022 Haskell lead but was overrun in the stretch. Bettors have been waiting for Geaux Rocket Ride to break out. Lightly raced, he ran a gutsy second to Practical Move in the San Felipe at Santa Anita. After missing the Santa Anita Derby with an illness, he prevailed in the lower-company Affirmed Stakes.
All three career races have been in California. Stretches to career-high distance of 1 1-8 miles from a top of 1 1-16. Contender who may also compromise Arabian Knight. Mandella won the 2000 Haskell with Dixie Union.
2. Awesome Strong (30-1)
Awesome odds if nothing else.
Flopped in a six-furlong at Delaware Park in June after winning four straight on the Florida circuit. His 2-year-old campaign included a triumph in the $400,000 In Reality. That placed high expectations on him this year. From winning at $400,000, he was a beaten fifth at allowance optional claiming. Would be a surprise if he’s ready to run at top level now, hence the odds.
Despite coming out of a sprint race, prefers to stalk. Will bettors give him a pass for the last? He’s trained by Jorge Delgado, whose uncle Gustavo guides Kentucky Derby champion Mage. Or will they think that was too big a drop-off? The board favors that answer.
3. Salute The Stars (8-1)
Put the L in Live Longshot. Has won three straight. That includes an exhilarating stretch romp to overhaul Louisiana Derby-winning Kingsbarns at the wire of the Pegasus at Monmouth Park. Race looks even better in retrospect. He was squeezed at the start, was rank throughout and then managed to make up perhaps six lengths on a Kentucky Derby prep winner on a speed-favoring track that hosts this race.
He is trained by Brad Cox, who won the last two Haskells with Mandaloun and Cyberknife. Cox would become only the second trainer behind Bob Baffert (2010-12) to win three Haskells in a row. This is a step up, but the win over Kingsbarns elevates his pedigree. Perhaps the step up is baked into his Haskell odds.
4. Mage (3-1)
Connections teased a Florida Derby rematch with Forte in the Jim Dandy Stakes next week at Saratoga before going with the money and the Haskell just before the draw. Bettors know he will run late. His chances depend heavily on whether another horse can soften up speed-burning Arabian Knight.
If it sets up, bettors might see a repeat of his race-best 105 Beyer from his Kentucky Derby-winning effort. The feeling amongst trainers after the draw was that there was enough speed, somewhere, to give closers a decent shot.
This is a classic pace-makes-race consideration. Karma fans, he was sired by Good Magic, who won the 2018 Haskell.
5. Tapit Trice (3-1)
Has won at this distance, earning a 99 Beyer in a razor-thin Bluegrass Stakes effort. After a traffic-induced seventh, ran the race expected and produced a strong third in the Belmont Stakes. He’s back to a distance he’s won, but not dominated at. Top group. Always in it. Bettors love him as a key in the exotics, but that market may not pay well here. Dangerous if he’s in a position to win at the top of the stretch.
6. Howgreatisnate (20-1)
Developments happen in waves. Is this another Jena Slays Goliath story? Horse racing celebrated Jena Antonucci becoming the first female to win a Triple Crown race when she guided Arcangelo home in the Belmont Stakes. Elizabeth Dobles tries to become the first female winner of the Haskell.
Unlike Arcangelo, her horse has been stopped every time he’s gone up to major stakes company. Probably asking too much, but would be great story.
7. Extra Anejo (5-1)
Is this the surprise of the field? Never run here or gone past one mile but has low betting odds. Fractions of six furlongs in 1:10.05 and seven furlongs in 1:22.33 in a recent Ellis Park romp indicate potential. It would be a major step up, but horses have been prevailing in spots like this all year. Sleeper.
8. Arabian Knight (5-2)
Baffert is not thrilled with the outside post as he seeks an unprecedented 10th Haskell. But he ships with the best of them. Arabian Knight was shut down from training in the spring, with connections unhappy about his progress. They perhaps thought the 3-year-old Triple Crown circuit would be too grinding. Baffert says the horse with the cant’t-miss label early in the year is training well now.
Should be the early speed. Hasn’t run since late January.
Will anyone pressure Arabian Knight? If he matches the Southwest figures of 22.98 seconds for the quarter and 46.82 for the half, he should be winning at the half-mile mark. The question is how hard will he be used?
That mattered last year, when victorious Cyberknife and second-place Taiba both set a stakes record in rallying past pacesetter Jack Christopher. Geaux Rocket Ride inherits a good striking spot. Tapit Trice, Mage and perhaps Salute the Starts figure to run late.
Betting Considerations And Potential PiCKS FROM Haskell Odds
Cautiously, a couple of combos, as exotics are not likely to pay.
Mage (4) will be my key with small win bet and then superfecta combos with Geaux Rocket Ride (1), Salute the Stars (3), Tapit Trice (5) and Arabian Knight (8). Will also take a 4-8 exacta box
Both Mage and Tapit Trice should be coming hard late and could run out of race track, but you know what you are getting. Hard to separate them.
Spot play of win bet on Salute the Stars and exacta combo of Salute the Stars and Arabian Knight (3-8) and Salute the Stars with Mage (3-4).
Arabian Knight could run away from this field and nobody knows the Haskell like Baffert, so he’ll be in most tickets. But the layoff of almost six months prompts some covers.
Best of luck betting on Haskell odds this weekend!