Five times in the last 10 years, the favorite has won the Haskell six times, with the second choice winning another two times. The biggest Haskell payout in 10 years was Girvin in 2017 at 9 – 1, paying $20.40 to win.
To find another decently paying horse, you have to go back to 1991 to Lost Mountain at 5 – 1. Otherwise, the average payout – even with Girvin’s score – is $6.88 in the last 10 years, on a $2 win ticket.
The payout has been understandably better when the second favorite wins the race. Exaggerator was the second choice behind Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist in 2016 and paid $7.20 to win. Bayern was the second choice behind the very well regarded Untapable in 2014 and paid $11.40 to win, the best payout until Girvin. Coil was the second choice behind Preakness winner Shackleford in 2011 but paid $8.40 to win. Otherwise, the Haskell is an extremely formful race, historically.
Haskell Invitational Races
There are five undercard stakes on Haskell Invitational Day.
The $300,000 United Nations Stakes (G1) is over 1 3/8 miles on the turf. The race is expected to bring turf star Arklow just a week after he won the Eklhorn at Keeneland. The United Nations has been won by the likes of Round Table, Sandpit, English Channel, Lure, Sky Classic, Manila, Dr. Fager, Better Talk Now, and the popular local runner Presious Passion.
The $300,000 Monmouth Cup (G3) is for older horses. It could have a truly top field in 2020, with names like Math Wizard, Plus Que Parfait, and Core Beliefs probable. If Joevia runs, he is the pick based on surface preference.
The $250,000 Molly Pitcher (G3) is 1 1/16 miles for older fillies and mares on the dirt. Dual Grade 1 winner She’s a Julie highlights the field, that could feature the return of Positive Spirit, last in the 2019 Kentucky Oaks last out. Past winners include Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Lady’s Secret. Trainers Todd Pletcher and Shug McGaughey have both won the race five times each. Hystericalady won it twice, in 2007 and 2008.
The $150,000 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (G3) is for three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, on the grass over 1 1/8 miles. The race could include multiple Canadian champion Starship Jubilee, as well as Todd Pletcher runner Valiance.
The action gets started with the $75,000 Wolf Hill Stakes for sprinters on the grass.
The 2020 Haskell Invitational will be held on July 18 at Monmouth Park.