Undefeated Jack Christopher Expected To Run In Haskell Stakes
Undefeated Jack Christopher was among 19 second-year horses nominated to participate in the $1 million Grade 1 Haskell Stakes on Thursday. The Haskell Stakes is a 1 ⅛ mile dirt race for three-year-olds at Monmouth Park on July 23. The event’s winner will get the prestigious Haskell Trophy and an automatic spot into the Breeders Cup Classic.
None of the 19 nominees have officially committed to the 2022 Haskell event, but according to Monmouth Park officials, 12 horses are either probable or possible to participate. In addition to Jack Christopher, trainer Chad Brown could have two other entrants – Zandon and Early Voting – while trainer Brad Cox will potentially send two horses, and nine-time Haskell winner Bob Baffert could have one entry. The Haskell would mark Baffert’s first Grade 1 event since serving a 90-day suspension.
Jack Christopher and Zandon Favorites To win Haskell?
While the number of entrants or post position has yet to be determined, it is possible that Brown could have the two of the betting favorites for this year’s event if both Jack Christopher and Early Voting run. While Jack Christopher is likely to run, Early Voting and Zandon may opt for the Grade 2 Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 30
Jack Christopher is 4-0-0 in four career starts, with two of those victories being Grade I stakes events, although he has not gone more than a mile in any of his races. The son of Munnings, is coming off an impressive 10-length victory in the seven-furlong Grade I Woody Stephens Stakes on June 11 at Belmont Park. He has also earned a Beyer rating of at least 100 in his last three races, winning by at least two lengths in each of those outings.
Zandon is a little more used to this distance, but the son of Upstart has only one graded stakes victory in four tries. Zandon has not raced since finishing third in Kentucky Derby. Early Voting (4-3-1-0), who won the Preakness Stakes, is not expected to race though he would undoubtedly be one of the favorites to win the race if Brown chose to run him.
Other Horses To Watch For The Haskell
Cox trained Cyberknife and his half-brother Taiba, trained by Tim Yakteen, along with White Abbarrio and Baffert’s Pinehurst appear to be the other serious contenders. Cyberknife and Taiba are “likely” to partake in the Jersey Shore event, while White Abbarrio and Pinehurst are bigger question marks.
Taiba seems to be the more talented of the two sons of Gun Runner. Taiba is 3-2-0-0, following up a key Santa Anita Derby victory with a 12th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
Meanwhile, Cyberknife (8-4-2-0) would be racing for the fourth consecutive month, and while he has had plenty of rest, the last three races have been taxing. Cyberknife earned a victory in Grade 3 Matt Winn on June 12 and captured the prestigious Arkansas Derby title during this stretch though he also finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby
White Abbarrio (7-4-1-1) is also someone “bettors” should keep a close eye though he doesn’t seem to be at the level of the other five right now. White Abbario finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby and is coming off a second-place finish in the G3 Ohio Derby, the last time out. However, trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. will likely decide to hold out the son of Race Day until the Dandy Stakes.
Pinehurst (6-3-1-0) has not raced since finishing 16th in the UE Derby at the end of March. The distance is also a question mark as Pinehurst has finished sixth and 16th in his two races over a mile. Other potential entries include “probables” Benevengo and Howling Time and “possibles” Cyberviking and Be Better.
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