TVG.com Haskell Stakes Day 2022 has finally arrived on the Jersey Shore’s biggest day of racing this Saturday. Great betting opportunities abound throughout Monmouth Park’s 14-race card. An all graded stakes pick 4 begins with the WinStar Matchmaker Stakes featuring some serious filly and mare power and ends in the TVG.com Haskell. Here are horses you cannot leave off of your pick 4 ticket:
Race 9: WinStar Matchmaker Stakes, post time 4:05 p.m. ET
#4 Lady Rockstar (3-1)
She’s making only her third start in the U.S. but has been a perfect 2-for-2 since moving overseas and into the Brendan Walsh barn. This filly has been extremely professional in those stateside starts, and while they weren’t in stakes company, don’t let that scare you away. She has shown versatility in her last two races and can only get better from here.
Race 10: Molly Pitcher Stakes, post time 4:38 p.m. ET
#1 Leader of the Band (6-1)
This filly is 2-for-3 at Monmouth Park and is facing a tough task against these, but I like her as a price play. In her last start, trainer John Servis put pads in the back of the gate which helped her gain a more forward position, and she earned a career-best Equibase Speed Figure in an impressive win. She has some speedy horses to her outside, and that will benefit her late-running style.
#2 Pennybaker (5-1)
This will be the second start off a layoff for this filly and her third start in the U.S. She’s an interesting player in this race for connections that cannot be ignored. Pennybaker kept tough company in the Chicago Stakes last out at Churchill Downs and was very wide turning for home. She won her first start in North America, a stakes at Laurel Park, by 6 ¾ lengths.
Race 11: United Nations Stakes, post time 5:09 p.m. ET
1. Adhamo (3-1)
This race shapes up to be a rematch of the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes as the top three finishers all return with their respective jockeys. This is a horse I feel had the short end of the stick in the Manhattan. Adhamo was compromised while running on the hedge at Belmont Park and he never really caught a nice rhythm. Although drawn in the 1 post today, I think different tactics will be employed this time around.
10. Gufo (3-1)
Sporting a bankroll of over $1.5 million, this horse is a fan favorite and fun to watch. His biggest advantage today will be the 1 3/8-mile distance. Aside from his performance in the ultra-tough Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar last fall, he has fired every time. The presence of multiple speed horses to his inside in this race will make it advantageous for his late-closing running style.
Race 12: TVG.com Haskell Stakes, post time 5:45 p.m. ET
2. Taiba (7-5)
He’s one of two sons of Gun Runner in this race and the lightest raced horse in the field. It was a big ask of him to make his third career start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and he’s been on the shelf since. He’s posted some solid works going into this race – especially for a horse that has been known not to be a morning glory – and Mike Smith ships in to ride. He’s got more experience under his belt and he’s back with a trainer who certainly knows how to win the Haskell.
8. Benevengo (20-1)
Here’s my price play and underdog. Trainer Jesse Cruz claimed this horse for $25,000 in his debut at Tampa Bay Downs and he has really stepped up to the plate since. His effort in the Long Branch Stakes here in May was excusable as it was over a sloppy track and his wheels were spinning. This horse continues to mature and he’s peaking at the perfect time for connections that know this is a tall order – but you have to be in it to win it!