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Post Time: Filly takes on the boys in Haskell

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By Gene Kershner 

Trainer Steve Asmussen has been here before.

In 2009 he brought super-filly Rachel Alexandra to challenge the boys at the Shore in the Haskell and she thrashed the competition on her way to being Horse of the Year as a 3-year-old. Of course, she had faced the boys in the Preakness before, so making short work of them was old hat at that point.

On Sunday afternoon at Monmouth Park in the summer meeting's premier race, the filly Untapable will take on eight colts to follow in the footsteps of his trainer's ace filly. Like Rachel, Untapable already has the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose under her belt, but will take on the boys for the first time.

She's had a lot of success at 8 1/2-furlongs, her only win at the Haskell distance of 9 furlongs is in the Kentucky Oaks against her brethren to don the Lilies the day before California Chrome staked claim to the best 3-year-old in the land. The daughter of Tapit will have something to say about that on Sunday afternoon should she beat a decent group of colts, headlined by Woody Stephens winner Bayern (5-2).

The son of Offlee Wild will look to give trainer Bob Baffert a record-increasing 7th victory in the signature race at Monmouth. He's trained five of the last nine winners and Bayern comes off a dominating 7 1/2-length romp in the 7-furlong Stephens against a formidable group. The question with Bayern is can he handle the extra distance where the best he's finished is third.

A horse that can thrive at the distance at speed-favoring Monmouth is Wildcat Red (10-1) who was a game second in the Florida Derby at the same distance. His connections picked this spot over the closer-stacked Jim Dandy and to me that is a sign that they have confidence in the D'Wildcat colt. I think he'll be a big factor in the race.

With the amount of speed in the race, one colt you can't count out is Medal Count. He's yet to establish himself in a big race, but he's faced big excuses every time he's run and Sunday just maybe his day. The Dynaformer colt has the breeding and stamina to overtake the speed in the race late. He finished a length behind the two front-runners in the Belmont and there's no reason to think he won't be around to overtake the filly on Sunday afternoon.

Post Time Outlook: 1 - Medal Count; 2 - Wildcat Red: 3 - Untapable

Here's the field for the Grade 1 Haskell InvitationaL: 

  Haskell Post Positions    
PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Encryption Breen  Lopez 20-1
2 Bayern Baffert Garcia 5-2
3 Albano Jones Clark 6-1
4 Irish You Well Catalano Lezcano 12-1
5 Just Call Kenny McBurney Bravo 10-1
6 Social Inclusion Azpurua Prado 8-1
7 Untapable Asmussen Napravnik 2-1
8 Wildcat Red Garoffolo Saez 10-1
9 Medal Count Romans Albarado 8-1

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

  • Jo Ann

    My husband and I live in Parkside Village Senior Manufactured Home Park 55+. It is located in Cheektowaga off Losson Rd. off Crabapple. We have also had several homes evacuated due to structural damage and loss of heat. There have been several carports destroyed and the poor elderly lady across from us had her carport collapse on top of her car. My sister in law also lost her carport. We had an overhang weather protector which hangs in front of garage door collapse also. Not even sure if we have a newer sunroom we had added on back still standing. Unfortunately we are not able to see all the damage since we left a week before storm hit to come to VA because one of our sons here was having surgery. We sit here nervously watching all the disaster and hearing about it on the news and from neighbors and relatives back home. We tried to make arrangements with a crew to go and shovel our roof and are getting the runaround. First guy tells us $300 and keeps calling with excuses why he hasn't done it yet. We get passed off to another crew who I didn't hear back from today. My neighbor asked a crew how much to do our garage and house roof and they quote a much higher price of $700. Funny thing they have done other double wides same as ours for $500. I just can't believe how people try to take advantage of the elderly and scam for more money during a disaster. Tomorrow I will be on the phone again trying to handle things from here. I have not been able to get our driveway or even a walkway to the front entrance done, but we are willing to pay. We need to get a relative or friend to be able to have access to front door to check if we even have heat inside. It is most likely with all the snow covering vents on roof that our furnace did an automatic shut down. We thought of trying to come home but all routes back were blocked and closed and driving bans were in place all over. It is making us nervous and stressed not knowing what to expect when we get home. Hoping we can stay here for Thanksgiving and Christmas so we can be with our sons. I guess we are like many others just waiting this out and hoping for better days to come along. My thoughts and prayers to all having to deal with all these problems from both near and far away.

About the reporter

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.