Haskell 2019 RECAP – – Super Screener
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Haskell 2019 RECAP –

Photo By: Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire

Haskell (G1)

Haskell winning ticket paid $450!

The Haskell lived up to its hype, featuring the thrilling, redemptive win by the first horse to arrive at the finish line in the Kentucky Derby: Maximum Security. We even were treated to a little “here we go again” drama when the inquiry sign came up as a result of contact made between a surging Maximum Security and a winded King for a Day. 

Joevia was a late scratch, and with that one as the anticipated pace leader, the pace dynamic changed somewhat though the pace was still very quick and pressured. The Super Screener Top Win Pick, Everfast, was not the best horse in the race, as we noted, but he was the lone closer, which gave him a pace advantage here. However, he was too far back, and Maximum Security was not going to back up on the speed-favoring Monmouth surface. 
The Super Screener Top Long Shot “under” play, Spun to Run delivered for us, completing the Trifecta as the 2nd longest shot on the board. He was no threat to the top pair and he helped boost the Trifecta payoff a bit. 

With the scratch of Joevia, that $60 budget now allowed for a $10 tight Trifecta ticket and it produced a return of $450.

#3 Spun to Run – Top Long Shot/Presser – This Hard Spun colt, who is bred to run all day long, had been screaming for more distance, and when he finally had the opportunity to go 2 turns, it was lights out against weaker. Added ground here is a major positive. Did benefit from perfect trips in those last two races. Regardless, getting good at the right time and a big price play, use “under”. 

King for a Day was a play-against for the Super Screener, as he produced a giant peak in his race prior in which he defeated Maximum Security. Todd Pletcher was concerned, as was the Super Screener, about a bounce here as the trainer likes to give his charges at least 60 days off after such a big effort. Kinf For a Day was part of the pressured pace, but his energy reserve was zapped and he backed up throughout the stretch run.

#1 King For a Day – Vulnerable Fave/Presser – Late-blooming 3-year-old colt upset #7 Maximum Security last out, pressing through lightning-quick fractions, and then moved on to capture the hard-fought win. This was a monster race for the colt and a giant move forward. Pletcher is concerned about a regression here coming back too soon and is considering backing off and giving him more time. Inside draw not a positive. 

Oceanside Stakes

We kicked off the Del Mar meet with our top two picks finishing in the Exacta. It was to foreshadow the week jockey Flavian Prat would have, as he went on to win an unprecedented 5 stakes races during the first week of the meet. He settled this slow-breaking charge at the back of the pack and, as was the winning profile for these 1-mile turf events at Del Mar during week 1, he closed furiously down the stretch to nail a very game Nolde at the wire by the narrowest of noses.

“The Sadler barn got off to a quick start at this meet last year and is prepared to repeat that pattern here, particularly with turf stakes horses. He’s got #3 Jasikan in this race and that is one of the Super Screener top win choices. Prat jumps on this slow-breaker that uses that quick turn of foot heading into the wire to overcome those tardy departures from the gate. This colt will only get better with more ground, and he gets more here. Will sit near the back of the pack and come with one big run… Useful vertical single. #8 Gregorian Chant hails from the productive D’Amato barn. Blinkers come off but this one still looks a bit green… but is loaded with talent. Drop back in distance helps. Working well up to this. #10 Nolde, out of the John Shirreffs barn, is getting good at the right time and is putting his foes away via a brilliant turn of foot. He is tactical but will sit mid-pack here and then will outsprint all rivals to the wire for the win as the Super Screener Top Win pick.”


The Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Synthesis, went off as the longest shot on the board at 54-1 but didn’t possess the anticipated close to impact the Exotics but finished ahead of several others. Not to worry, there will be plenty of Del Mar long shot picks scoring in the weeks ahead.

The suggested $10 Exacta ticket hit for $145.

Wolf Hill Stakes

While the Super Screener Top Win and Top Board Hitter pick didn’t deliver on value, he did win this race rather convincingly, tracking a modest pace with Fig Jelly surprisingly among the early leaders. 

Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about Justaholic:
#7 Justaholic debuted in late 2017 and broke his maiden in his 2nd career start. He then went on to have a productive but abbreviated campaign that came to a halt in mid-June last year. His 2019 debut came a year later, and it was impressive as he pressed a substantial pace but then kicked on, in hand, to win. He’ll only improve off that effort which will make him tough to track down late…top win contender.”

#7 Justaholic – Top Board Hitter/Presser – Excels on any surface while sprinting. Just won on the Monmouth turf course going 5 panels and only moves forward off that effort, which came post a one-year-layoff. Faces similar to what he encountered in the 2019 debut race. Has a great pace advantage here as he’ll press a pace that is nearly identical to the one he tracked on this way to that in-hand victory.  Top win contender.

Regal Image was a prime pick as well but could only muster a far-back 4th place finish, so this one regressed rather than taking another step forward as was expected. Needed that one to finish at least 3rd to cash on suggested wagers. Snowday had the perfect conditions coming into this race but did not capitalize on them, signaling that it is time for this 9 year-old to retire or find easier company.

Daisycutter Handicap

As the Super Screener warned, don’t ignore a Peter Miller charge sprinting on the turf at Del Mar… especially with fillies and mares. Painting Corners pressed the rapid pace, and via an excellent ride by Flavien Prat, she repelled the bids of S Y Sky, Just Grazed Me and A Little Bit Me, to go on to win convincingly.  

The top 4 ranked Super Screener fillies and mares were the same 4 horses that comprised the Superfecta finishers. Preference, however, would have been that the order of finish would have been flipped to produce a bigger score, as the Super Screener Top Value play, Just Grazed Me, went off at juicy odds of 16-1. This was her turf debut and she nearly caught her stablemate, the Super Screener Top Board Hitter, S Y Sky.

San Clemente (G2)

I rarely gripe about “bad rides” as I understand how quick decisions need to be made in the heat of battle and not all of them work out. However, in the case of the ride #6 Over Emphasize received from Alonso Quinonez, it was just inexcusable. He was on the rail for much of the early part of the race, sitting back in 7th off the projected hot pace… A+ ride so far…

But as they were passing the the middle part of the backstretch, Alonso just stayed there. He made no effort to start maneuvering his horse off the rail which would accomplish two things:

1. Avoid all the speed horses backing up, forcing you to get shuffled back in the field and 2. Get yourself in position to leverage as much of an uninterrupted turn of foot as possible.

Instead, he stubbornly stayed right there on the rail, got shuffled back, and then had no room until late to break out and use that turn of foot… this filly is so much better than this and at odds of 8-1, it hurt even more. 

Even a 2nd place finish creates a very different outcome in this race. She is clearly a better horse than Apache Princess, but note how Desormeaux rode that rival. He was even further back, off the rail, and he swung widest of all, which cost him the win, but they finished 2nd at 17-1 as the Super Screener Top Long Shot play.


The summer stakes action really begins to heat up now, and the spotlight lands on Saratoga this weekend where 4 Graded Stakes will take place, including the key Travers prep, the Jim Dandy (G2). Also on the Saturday card you’ll find the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1), a very important prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Not to be outdone this weekend, Del Mar cards the Bing Crosby (G1) (another key Breeders’ Cup Sprint prep race) and the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) on Sunday. Huge weekend of racing action at its best!

Until this coming weekend, Go Fast and Win!

Mike

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