Haskell Stakes Betting Guide

Odds, Analysis And Picks For 2021


The $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) is Saturday, July 17 at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. The name changed this year from the Haskell Invitational, which was established in 1968 as the Monmouth Invitational Handicap for older horses. The Haskell Invitational has been a stakes race for 3-year-olds since 2006 and is the premier race held at Monmouth Park – known as The Shore’s Greatest Stretch.

Nicknamed the “War on the Shore”, the Haskell is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, and the winner receives an automatic fees paid entry into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at 1 ¼ miles.

The Grade 1 Haskell headlines the biggest day of racing at Monmouth Park with four Grade 3 races also on the July 17 card.

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Haskell Stakes post positions and odds 2021

Here are the morning line odds for the 2021 Haskell Stakes.

1Following Sea3-1
4Hot Rod Charlie6-5
5Pickin' Time20-1
6Midnight Bourbon9-2
7Basso 30-1

Horse profiles


Hot Rod Charlie (6-5): Hot Rod Charlie has won two of his last six races, and finished in-the-money in all six starts including runner-up in the TVG.com Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Belmont Stakes and third place in the Kentucky Derby by a nose behind Mandaloun. Hot Rod Charlie held up well in the 1 ½ mile Belmont Stakes after racing along the lead through a very fast early half mile. He finished with a peak effort and the fastest race of his career. Hot Rod Charlie’s Energy Distribution Profile is very balanced, and he should deploy his stamina advantage when leading jockey Flavien Prat asks him to make his late run. The horse to beat, but no value as likely the fourth consecutive Haskell favorite to close with odds below even money.

Mandaloun (2-1): Mandaloun got a perfect trip to finish second in the Kentucky Derby. He’s since won the 1 1/16 mile Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth last month, but that race was a bit deceiving thanks to the glacial early pace which has deflated his final speed figure. Mandaloun is an off-the-pace runner for EPO trainer Saffie Joseph, but he’s tactical so he is not pace dependent. He ran his worst race when finishing sixth as the favorite behind winner Hot Rod Charlie in the Louisiana Derby. The well-bred son of Into Mischief is running in his sixth stakes race this year through a demanding campaign. Mandaloun has won twice and finished in-the-money four times, and continues to train well.


Following Sea (3-1): Following Sea is a lightly raced colt by RunHappy who makes his fourth start and stakes debut. His breeding points to him as a sprinter, and he’ll be on the lead as long as he can hold up in his two-turn debut. Following Sea exploded with a huge effort to win a 6 ½ furlong race against a short field last month, and produced massive BRIS Pace/Speed figures which followed a runaway win in his maiden debut back in April. These are short odds for an unproven distance runner against top class 3-year-olds, but trainer Todd Pletcher is looking to see what Following Sea’s ceiling is and stretches him out. Following Sea is a late-season candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Midnight Bourbon (9-2): Midnight Bourbon makes his sixth straight graded stakes start this year. He has one win in the Lecomte, and finished second last out in May in the Preakness after pressing through dueling fractions before the closer came through. Midnight Bourbon pressed the pacesetter Hot Rod Charlie in the 1 3/16 mile Louisiana Derby but couldn’t catch him to finish second. His only finish out of the money in nine career starts was the Kentucky Derby, but he was compromised at the start. Midnight Bourbon is rested now for two months and has a solid work pattern coming into the Haskell. All signals point to Midnight Bourbon producing his best race yet following the Preakness, and he offers plenty of value for the risk/reward challenge to Hot Rod Charlie. Seven-time Monmouth Park riding champion Paco Lopez takes the reins for trainer Steve Asmussen.


Pickin’ Time (20-1): Pickin’ Time won a Grade 3 race last November, but is 0-for-3 since and failed to hit the board. He’s an off-the-pace runner whose speed does not stack up. He’s better at a shorter distance, and Pickin’ Time will need a blistering pace to close into and pick up the pieces for any chance to hit the board.

Basso (30-1):Basso is a local runner who broke his maiden at Monmouth in his debut last summer. He’s 0-for-4 since with only a show finish in a minor stakes race. He never fired in his 2021 debut last month in an Allowance optional claiming race, and he lost to the other two longshots in races. Basso is a closer that is outclassed.

Antigravity (30-1): Antigravity is an off-the-pace runner who makes his stakes debut after winning a pair of races last month at Monmouth. One of those was over a sloppy surface, which is unlikely Saturday, although there is a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon. His other win last month was a maiden race in his 11th career start. Appears better than other two longshots, but Antigravity doesn’t rate well against the rest.

Haskell Stakes schedule and race details

  • Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021
  • Time: 5:45 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC 5-6 p.m. ET
  • Tablet, Online, Mobile: NBC Sports App and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live and TVG.com.
  • Track & Location: Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey
  • Distance: 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs)
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Horses: 3-Year-Old Thoroughbreds by Invitation only
  • Track Record: Bet Twice (1987) and Majestic Light (1976) in 1:47.00
  • Largest Margin of Victory: Verrazano (9 3/4 lengths in 2013)

Fans can wager legally at racetracks, simulcast centers such as Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers, and on advanced deposit wagering platforms such as Twinspires, Bet America and TVG, where bettors in 31 states can legally bet on horse races from their mobile devices and web browsers. You can also wager on horse racing legally in the state of Nevada at the hundreds of casinos with race and sportsbooks.

Haskell storylines 2021

The biggest storyline heading into this year’s Haskell is regarding controversial trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert has been suspended by Churchill Downs for two years due to Medina Spirit’s positive drug tests. Darby Development CEO Dennis Drazin told the Asbury Park Press that Monmouth Park would “welcome” a Baffert-trained horse and Medina Spirit was rumored to be a participant in this year’s Haskell. Those rumors were put to bed on July 6, however, when Monmouth Park racing secretary John Heims told the Asbury Park Press that Medina Spirit was a no-go for the Haskell.

Mandaloun among the favorites for the 2021 Haskell. Brad Cox’s horse won the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 13. This year’s Haskell will also see big name horses Midnight Bourbon and Hot Rod Charlie.

Haskell Invitational history

Authentic won the 2020 Haskell with closing odds of 4/5.

The Haskell Invitational (Stakes) has seen the race favorite win almost exactly 50% of its races (27-of-53) including in the last three years. Maximum Security (4/5) held off a bid by Mucho Gusto to win in 2019, and 2018 winner Good Magic (1/2) rolled to a three-length victory as the heavy favorite. The race has been decided by a nose three times including in 2017 when long shot Girvin (9/1) prevailed.

The first 3-year-old classic winner to also win the Haskell was Coastal in 1979. He won that year’s Belmont Stakes.

In 1987, Bet Twice – the Belmont Stakes winner – beat Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Alysheba in one of the most fantastic finishes in the race’s history. Bet Twice shares the stakes record time of 1:47 with Majestic Light, the 1976 winner.

Racing Hall of Famer Craig Perret rode three Haskell winners: Bet Twice (1987), Forty Niner (1988), and Lost Mountain (1991), the most by any jockey.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won the Haskell a record eight times starting in 2001 and most recently in 2015.

While many tried (including Alysheba, referenced above), the first Kentucky Derby winner to also win the Haskell was War Emblem in 2002. Big Brown became the second in 2008. In 2015 American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner to run in and win the Haskell.

In 1995, Serena’s Song became the first filly winner of the Haskell. Rachel Alexandra became the second in 2009.

Haskell winners have gone on to win 3-year-old divisional championship honors 11 times, including Maximum Security in 2019. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but was disqualified for interference in the stretch.

Haskell Stakes bet types

In addition to the traditional “straight” wagers (Win, Place, Show), fans can also attempt to cash big in the various “exotic” pools. Exacta (first two), Trifecta (first three) and Superfecta (first four) wagering are all offered, and cashing a ticket in any of these pools can produce a bigger payday.

  • Win: Bet on the horse you think you will win the Haskell Invitational.
  • Place: Get paid the place price if your horse finishes first or second.
  • Show: A show bet pays the least, but you win and get paid the show price if your horse finishes first, second or third.
  • Exacta: Predict the first two horses in the correct order.
  • Trifecta: Predict the first three horses in the correct order.
  • Superfecta: Predict the first four horses in the correct order.

The Haskell Invitational Stakes betting odds are finally determined by the pari-mutuel system at the track which means your potential payout depends on how much money is in the pool overall, divided by how many bets are placed. The odds will fluctuate in the build-up to the race and never more so than in the final few moments before post time.

Haskell Invitational FAQs

When is the 2021 Haskell Invitational?

The Haskell Invitational will run on Saturday, July 17, 2021.

How many horses run in the Haskell?

The field is limited to a maximum of 14 horses but this year will feature just seven.

What is the Haskell Invitational Purse?

The Haskell has maintained a purse of $1 million since 1997.

How much does the winner of the Haskell Invitational get?

The connections of the winner of the Haskell receives $600,000. Runner-up receives $200,000 and third place $100,000 with six places paid.

What kind of race is the Haskell Invitational?

The Haskell is a Grade 1 stakes race and has run under allowance weight conditions since 2006

When is post time for the Haskell Invitational?

Post time is approx. 5:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 17, 2021.

How much are Haskell Invitational tickets?

General admission for the Grandstand is $8, and the Clubhouse is $10. However, the 2020 race will be contested with no fans in the stands due to coronavirus concerns and for the safety of all people and personnel at the track.

How long does the Haskell Invitational last?

Less than 2 minutes. In fact, the winning horse typically wins the race in less than one minute, fifty seconds.

Who was the fastest horse to win the Haskell Invitational?

Bet Twice (1987) and Majestic Light (1976) both won in 1:47.00.