Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rachel faces Summer Bird and Munnings in the Haskell

Monmouth Park

Rachel Alexandra has been installed the 4/5 favorite as she again takes on the colts in the $1.25 Million Grade I Haskell Invitational today at Monmouth Park. A series of Graded and Non graded stakes highlight a very strong undercard at Monmouth today where severe thunderstorms are expected this afternoon.

Horses to Watch in the Haskell

Rachel Alexandra
Winner of seven straight including the Preakness and is the likely leading candidate for Horse of the Year. Will have to stay close enough to Munnings on the pace today but if she is ready, she wins. Calvin Borel rides for Steve Asmussen.

Summer Bird
Ran up the track in the Kentucky Derby but returned to win the Belmont in June. The speed on the front end sets up nicely for him in here but he may be ready for a bounce after a huge lifetime best Beyer in the Belmont. Kent Desormeaux rides for Tim Ice.

Going for third win in a row and has posted three straight 108 Beyers. He is likely to press the pace today or have the lead but will have Rachel to contend with up there. Johnny Velasquez rides for Todd Pletcher.

Duke of Mischief
Is going for third straight win and won the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows by five lengths in his last. Then again, this isn't the Iowa Derby. Eiabar Coa saw enough in that race to come from Saratoga today to ride for David Fawkes.