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Haskell Invitational (Grade 1) Preview

Dudes Pick: #7 Untapable

Long Shot Pick: #Albano

Analysis:

1. Encryption (KY) – All four starts have come at Monmouth Park so that’s a positive…but this field has come up fairly difficult.  Certainly didn’t embarrass himself in the two local preps, but can he raise his game to an all knew level??  He’ll have to do so if he wants to compete today.

2. Bayern (KY) – His last win was an EYE POPPING performance!!  I’d even go as far to say that it was the performance of the year for a three year old so far.  However, is that the real Bayern, or was that just a freak performance?  His starts prior to that one were ok, but nothing special.  Was the cut back in distance something he desperately needed…or can he get 9 furlongs today?  A lot of question marks surround him…

3. Albano (KY) – Sharp winner of the local prep gives me hope he might be peeking late in the year which is good for this race.  He ran some decent races along the Triple Crown trail in Louisiana, but nothing suggested he was ready to face the big boys in the big races.  However, his win last time out suggests that he’s ready now.  Very playable and the price should be ok.

4. Irish You Well (KY) – This one was a half length winner of the Long Branch last time out, but the waters are much deeper against this talented group.  Fairly classy horse, but it most likely overmatched

5. Just Call Kenny (VA) – Was second in the Long Branch to Irish You Well, but that was off a long layoff of six months.  Probably will improve in this one and might be playable with small tickets as the price will be right.  Still thinking he’s a cut below the best horses in here.

6. Social Inclusion (KY) – Tough to figure this one out…he might be on the downhill spiral.  He was pretty much the rage when he beat Honor Code in the Spring, but was no match in the Preakness and was upset in a sprint last time out.  Still believe the horse has all the tools, but maybe he has been pushed too much and too early.  Taking the wait and see approach.

7. Untapable (KY) – The filly finally lines up against the boys, and some say it’s long overdue.  My opinion: this is perfect timing, and a perfect track for her to try.  I think she’ll stalk what has every chance to be a solid pace, and when the time is right I think she pounces and gets the job done.  This is certainly the toughest challenge of her career as the quality of horses she’ll face here is a big time upgrade.  However, I still think she’s better than all of these.

8. Wildcat Red (FL) – So impressive in winning a small stakes last time out, and really was pretty impressive in all his preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby.  One still has to wonder if he is truly a two turn horse, but we don’t have to wonder about the size of this horses heart.  He’s gutted out these two turn races up to this point, and if he doesn’t get into any kind of speed duel early (very possible he will) then he has a big time chance.

9. Medal Count (KY) – Would have bet anything this horse would be on the turf after his third place effort in the Belmont, but here he is in this spot.  I felt like the mile and a half distance of the Belmont was up his alley, but not sure anything shorter than that will be to his liking on the dirt.  When/if Romans decides that the turf is his home he’ll be dangerous, but when will that be?

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