Monmouth Park plays host to one of the most lucrative Grade 1s in the second half of the year in the United States.
The Haskell Stakes has been won by legendary three-year-olds throughout its history, and some of the brightest stars will once again be in action for the renewal this year.
You can find out more about the illustrious race in this article, as well as learning more about the leading contenders for the Haskell Stakes in 2021.
Haskell Stakes History
The Haskell Stakes isn’t as old as the Triple Crown races in the United States, but it is easily one of the most prestigious. The race takes place as a stepping stone for the best three-year-olds over dirt in the United States between the Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup.
It was previously a handicap race between 1968 and 2005, but that changed in 2006 when it became a Stakes race.
However, there are still allowances for horses involved that haven’t won a Triple Crown race or a Grade 1. It has always been a lucrative race for connections, with a purse of just over $1 million available. There are also bonuses on offer for owners and trainers that have won a Grade 1 or Triple Crown race throughout the season.
The purse has been set at over $1 million since 1997, but was increased for the 2002 and 2015 renewals due to the involvement of War Emblem and American Pharoah, respectively.
The Haskell Stakes has been a famous race won by some of the most iconic three-year-olds throughout its history. Eight previous winners have gone on to be named as the Champion three-year-old colts at the Eclipse Awards.
The most recent winner to win both was American Pharoah, who continued his excellent form after winning all three Triple Crown races with victory in the Haskell Stakes. Other horses to have achieved the feat include Big Brown, Point Given and War Emblem.
Champion three-year-old fillies have also won the Haskell Stakes in the past. Rachel Alexandra was the most recent famous winner, as she won the race in 2009. The same horse was also one of four Haskell Stakes winners to have won the Horse of the Year, the others being American Pharoah, Point Given and Holy Bull.
Leading Contenders In 2021
The Haskell Stakes is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting races in the second half of the year. Medina Spirit for trainer Bob Baffert is one of the most intriguing horses set to be involved.
The three-year-old tested positive for a banned substance after winning the Kentucky Derby, and while many racecourses have banned Baffert from entering his horses, Monmouth Park have welcomed the Hall of Famer back with open arms.
Preakness Stakes winner, Rombauer also looks set to compete for the Haskell Stakes. The three-year-old was last seen finishing third in the Belmont Stakes. Mandaloun was a very impressive winner of a competitive Pegasus Stakes, and this looks set to be his next challenge.
Hot Rod Charlie is widely regarded as one of the most talented horses at his age, and will look to win a first Grade 1 in the Haskell Stakes. He was most recently second in the Belmont Stakes, and also finished third in the Kentucky Derby earlier in the season.
Midnight Bourbon will also return after finishing second in the Preakness Stakes, while Weyburn and Following Sea will be the two big-priced outsiders to win the Grade 1 at Monmouth Park.
Here you have it, everything you need to know about the Haskell Stakes. Check out more about online sports betting in New Jersey here.