by Ray Wallin
I’m a Jersey guy. I spent my formative years on the grandstand apron of Monmouth Park with my late Uncle Dutch learning the sport of horse racing. Hearing Frank Sinatra’s Summer Wind holds a special place in my heart, especially while walking out of the track with some serious folding money in my pocket.
Whether you’re a casual fan or you make your living playing the races, it’s time to have some fun with the Haskell “by the numbers.”
The Haskell Invitational (G1) will be run on Saturday, July 20, and is scheduled to feature Maximum Security, who finished first in the Kentucky Derby (G1) but was disqualified for interference.
1 – Trainers to win in three consecutive years (Bob Baffert 2010-2012; Lookin at Lucky, Coil, Paynter)
1 – Jockeys to win back-to-back (Martin Garcia, 2010-11)
3 – Most wins by a jockey (Craig Perret; 1981, 1987, 1991; Martin Garcia; 2010, 2011, 2014)
3 – Different names of the race (less the sponsor) – Monmouth Invitational Handicap, Haskell Invitational Handicap, Haskell Invitational Stakes
6 – Number of horses with a name starting with “B” to win (the most of any letter): (Balustrade, 1968; Big Pistol, 1984; Bet Twice, 1987; Bluegrass Cat. 2006; Big Brown, 2008; Bayern, 2014)
8 – Number of times race has been run over an off track.
9 – Number of furlongs the Haskell has been run every time it has been contested
9 – Number of winners from post position No. 4, the most of any post
9-3/4 – Largest margin of victory (Verrazano, 2013)
10 – Number of winners that have gone on to win championship honors at the Eclipse Awards. The most recent was American Pharoah in 2015.
10 – Number of Kentucky Derby winners to run. Only three have won (War Emblem 2002, Big Brown 2008, American Pharoah 2015). American Pharoah is the only Triple Crown winner to start in the Haskell
12 – The most horses to contest the Haskell (1971 when race was won by West Coast Scout)
25 – Number of favorites that have won in 51 tries. The most recent favorite to win was Good Magic in 2018 who won at odds of 1-2.
36 – Longest odds of a Haskell winner (Skip Trial, 1985)
38 – Number of years race has been an invitational for 3-year-olds. Prior to 1981, it was a handicap for older horses.
52 – This will be the 52nd running
52 – Horses invited to 2019 Haskell (44 were invited in 2018)
122 – Number of pounds horse must carry before allowances
Ray Wallin is a licensed civil engineer and part-time handicapper who has had a presence on the Web since 2000 for various sports and horse racing websites and through his personal blog. Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.
Ray’s background in engineering, along with his meticulous nature and fascination with numbers, parlay into his ability to analyze data; keep records; notice emerging trends; and find new handicapping angles and figures. While specializing in thoroughbred racing, Ray also handicaps harness racing, Quarter Horse racing, baseball, football, hockey, and has been rumored to have calculated the speed and pace ratings on two squirrels running through his backyard.
Ray likes focusing on pace and angle plays while finding the middle ground between the art and science of handicapping. When he is not crunching numbers, Ray enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his alma mater (Rutgers University), fishing, and playing golf.
Ray’s blog, which focuses on his quest to make it to the NHC Finals while trying to improve his handicapping abilities can be found at www.jerseycapper.blogspot.com Ray can also be found on Twitter (@rayw76) and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.