Gemologist is the horse to beat in the Grade 1 Haskell
If you love horse racing or love betting the horses, the card at Monmouth on Sunday is simply fantastic. There are some great races, and I'm confident that I'll have quite a few winners.
Usually, the weather can be the great equalizer in these races, but don't worry—I've already factored it in.
Rafael Bejarano picks up the mount on Brujo de Olleros.
Brujo de Olleros, the Graham Motion-trained horse from Brazil is correctly the 3-1 morning line favorite according to the Daily Racing Form. This four-year-old colt has won his last two races in convincing fashion, with his last win being by over 14 lengths. Brujo de Olleros has put together a solid string of workouts lately and gets Rafael Bejarano for this race.
Marilyn's Guy appears to be the main threat, as CC Lopez returns to the saddle for Anthony Dutrow. After two solid wins with Lopez aboard, Marilyn's Guy struggled in his last start without Lopez. This six-year-old gelding has seven career wins in 16 starts at the distance.
If you're interesting in trifecta wagering, I would strongly consider Esporon and Small Town Talk, both of whom are 8-1 in the Daily Racing Form. Esporon is coming off a nice win over the main track at Monmouth on July 7 and is losing three pounds from that race. Small Town Talk has two straight wins at a mile and 70 yards and appears to be in good form.
Todd Pletcher sends out a pair of horses in the Teddy Drone.
Royal Currier, with Joe Bravo, should be able to hold off Pluracity and Raging Six in the Teddy Drone.
Royal Currier, the talented four-year-old for Patricia Farro is the "horse for the course", with two wins and two second-place finishes in five career starts at Monmouth. In her last performance, Royal Currier held off Raging Six to win the Mr. Prospector in 1 minute and 9.1 seconds.
Raging Six and Pluracity are both going to have move sooner, if they want to catch Royal Currier. Both horses are talented enough to win this race, but they need to be closer to the pace or they will both fall short.
Todd Pletcher has two horses entered in the race, but I don't think either is worth betting. Travelin Man and Soaring Stocks just don't show enough good form lately to warrant consideration.
Silver Screamer will try to wire the field.
I'm not really sure that Silver Screamer, the four-year-old filly, is the most talented horse in the $150,000 Grade Three Taylor Made Matchmaker, but the race is set up perfectly for her.
Unless Laughing—the Ireland-based horse—changes tactics, I don't see any horse running with Silver Screamer, who has won two straight races. The only thing that worries me is that additional five pounds that Silver Screamer is getting from her last start.
Since I don't anticipate much early speed, Island Time, the five-year-old mare from Jason Servis, will be stalking the lead and first to move on Silver Screamer.
Dealbata, the other Ireland shipper, appears to be the most talented horse in this race, but because she's a classic closer, I'm not sure she'll be able to catch Silver Screamer. In her lone US start, Dealbata cruised home at Belmont for trainer Chad Brown.
Hessonite is another closer who would prefer early fast fractions, but will also be disappointed with the early pace. Javier Castellano rides this four-year-old filly that is trained by David Donk.
Javier Castellano will guide R Gypsy Gold to victory.
I absolutely love R Gypsy Gold, with Javier Castellano, to win the $200,000 Grade Two Molly Pitcher. If the morning line odds hold up, 4-1 odds according to the Daily Racing Form, for this talented four-year-old filly is the gift of the day.
R Gypsy Gold is coming off a very nice win on July 4—with Castellano aboard—and has a very convincing win over the main track at Monmouth already. I also like that any moisture in the track will only add to her dominance.
Brushed by a Star is 8-1 per the Daily Racing Form, and has a real chance to finish second, while challenging R Gypsy Gold. Corey Nakatani rides this Grant Forster-trained horse again, who dominated in her last race—winning by over 11 lengths in the mud at Pimlico.
Afleeting Lady, who is trained by Dale Romans, and Nefertini both appear capable of taking the show position. Nefertini is the longer-priced horse as well as the horse I expect to finish third.
Admiral Perry is the horse to beat.
Admiral Perry appears poised to win the Grade Three Oceanport for trainer Claude McGaughey. Joe Bravo keeps the mount—and rightfully so—since he guided the four-year-old to an easy win in his last start, winning by almost three lengths over the lawn at Monmouth.
Glass Art is going to be a threat, especially if the turf is heavy. The more rain that falls over the turf, the more dangerous this Gregory Sacco-trained horse is. In his last race on a good turf, Glass Art was victorious. The Daily Racing Form has him at 8-1, this is true value.
I'm not a big fan of Get Serious, the eight-year-old gelding that is trained by John Forbes, but this horse can complete the trifecta and/or superfecta wagering. With 11 wins in 19 career starts at Monmouth, this horse appears to love the turf at Monmouth. However, in his last two performances when the turf wasn't firm, weren't good.
If you're looking for a real long shot, I like Crepuscolo, who is also 8-1 according to the Daily Racing Form in the morning line. In his only start on turf, this Juan Serey-trained horse won convincingly in a good turf. The added distance should only help his chances.
Gemologist will dominate in the Haskell.
The nine-furlong Haskell Invitational will be decided by Javier Castellano. Yes, you read that correctly.
Without a doubt, Paynter, the very speedy and talented three-year-old for Bob Baffert will have the lead from the beginning of the race. Paynter, who was second to the recently retired Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes, had a sizzling six-furlong effort on July 23 of 1 minute, 11.4 seconds.
But Bob Baffert has this horse primed for another big race.
Javier Castellano has the best horse in the race, I really believe it. Gemologist was my Kentucky Derby pick, but he was absolutely terrible, and finished thirty lengths behind of I'll Have Another. I'm giving this son of Tiznow another chance, and if Javier Castellano doesn't engage in a speed battle with Paynter, I have all the confidence in the world that Gemologist will win easily.
If Paynter and Gemologist engage in an early battle, Nonios will be the beneficiary. Corey Nakatani picks up the mount on this Jerry Hollendorfer horse, and with a 394 Beyer rating for the distance, this is the dark horse.
I'm not sure what to expect from Dullahan, who I correctly picked in the Grade One Blue Grass on April 14. However, his performances have regressed since then, and maybe the jockey switch back to Kent Desormeaux will help.
Gemologist has a win at nine furlongs, has a win over a wet track and is training exceptionally well—a 58.2 bullet work on July 22 at Saratoga.
Gemologist will win the $1,000,000 Haskell by three lengths in 1.49.3.