Winner of 2023 Haskell Stakes Could Win Additional $1 Million Bonus Thanks to BetMakers

On Saturday, July 22nd, all roads lead to Monmouth Park for the 56th running of New Jersey’s horse racing crown jewel, the 2023 Haskell Invitational Stakes.

The headlining race, which serves as a stepping stone between Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup season, will field the nation’s top-class, three-year-old thoroughbreds vying for a share of the $1 million purse.

For bettors in New Jersey, the Grade 1 stakes event is the horse racing equivalent of the World Series, Super Bowl, or NBA Finals, with the option of wagering on the race through the FanDuel NJ Sportsbook or at any racetrack in the Golden State.

Even more exciting this year, the winner has the chance to double their payout with the $1 million BetMakers Bonanza bonus that requires them to complete subsequent wins at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Santa Anita and the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

The star-studded field includes this year’s undefeated Arabian Knight, whose trainer Bob Baffert has clinched the Haskell Invitational title a record nine times.

BetMakers sweetens the deal with a $1 million Bonanza bonus

For the 4th consecutive year, New Jersey’s richest horse racing event has partnered with BetMakers Technology Group to offer a $1 million “BetMakers Bonanza” bonus. The Australian company provides advanced service solutions and tech to the racing sector.

To bag the bonus, the lucky horse must complete not one, not two, but three wins. The three-year-old must floor the seven competitors at the Oceanport-based racetrack on July 22nd, followed by the Travers Stakes in Saratoga Springs on August 26th, and the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California in November.

Few horses have been able to pull off all three wins. The thoroughbred Authentic completed a win at all three racing events in 2020 and the owner Spendthrift Farm took home the $1 million bonus.

The million-dollar bonus offer is the brainchild of BetMakers and Monmouth Park. The Aussie technology firm has sponsored the bonanza prize for four years in a row. This comes months after DraftKings and Churchill Downs’s TwinSpires partnered to launch DK Horse, a horse racing mobile betting app.

Top contenders emerge from the Triple Crown trail

The Haskell Stakes, now in its 56th year, has become quite popular and gets plenty of national TV coverage as one of the lucrative US horse races. Dubbed the largest racing event in the Golden State, the race runs each year right after the Triple Crown series and prior to the Breeders’ Cup that runs through November.

The Crown Series began on May 6th, when horse Mage, with Javier Castellano on the jockey and trainer Gustavo Delgado cheering on the fairgrounds, cruised the last corner and beat Two Phils to the punch to win the 149th Kentucky Derby in front of a 150,000-strong crowd, as reported by CNN.

Next up was the Preakness Stakes held at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland on May 20th. National Treasure weathered an impressive last-minute surge from Mage and Blazing Sevens to help jockey John Velazquez win his first Preakness title.

With two races down, the jockeys and their thoroughbreds flocked to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on June 10th for the third and final leg of the Crown series. Horse Arcangelo managed to hold off a last-stretch challenge from Forte to make Jena Antonucci the first female trainer to win Belmont Stakes.

Mage emerged as the overall winner of the 2023 Triple Crown series and booked his 4th post position at the Haskell Stakes. That makes the race the first major stepping stone between the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup season. 

Top finishers of the Haskell often move on to the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in California and, three months later, to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. It has played a pivotal role in the selection of the Eclipse Award winners, particularly in the seasons when no dominant stallion emerged in the Triple Crown series.

The 1 1/8 mile dirt track horse race takes place in the third quarter of each year at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey. The undercard includes four other graded stakes races like the prestigious Grade 1 United Nations Stakes. Past winners have gone on to capture year-end honors like Horse of the Year.

Some familiar faces from the Triple Crown are expected to run. If one of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, or Belmont winners takes the Haskell, they’ll be the frontrunner for champion 3-year-old honors.

Who to watch and bet on in the 2023 Haskell Stakes field

The 1 ⅛-mile Haskell Stakes drew a stellar field marked by the presence of Mage, the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner, who will start for the first time since National Treasure and Blazing Sevens edge him to 3rd place at the 2023 Preakness Stakes.

The Triple Crown winner will race a quality field highlighted by undefeated Arabian Knight, who returns to action since January, Tapit Trice, who finished 3rd at the Belmont Park, and five up-and-coming performers.

Of the eight horses in this year’s Haskell Stakes lineup, three stand out as top contenders. The favorite at 5/2 is Arabian Knight, breaking from the outside No. 8 post. 

Arabian Knight’s trainer, Bob Baffert — who is facing a ban extension by Churchill Downs — is eyeing his 10th Haskell win. He knows how to get a horse ready for the Haskell, having saddled Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 45th edition of the event, nine years ago. The unbeaten horse already has Grade 2 and Grade 3 stakes win under his belt this year.

Starting side-by-side in posts 4 and 5 are Mage and Tapit Trice. Tapit Trice took third in the recent Belmont Stakes. The 1 1/2 mile Belmont distance may have been too far for him. Cutting back in distance to 1 1/8 miles could help. Mage finished third in the Preakness and won the Kentucky Derby – he could become the 7th Derby winner to add a Haskell victory. His sire, Good Magic, won the Haskell in 2018 too. Mage has been training sharply for his return at Monmouth Park.

The other runners include up-and-comers like Code Runner and Battle Cry who could pull off an upset. But the “big three” horses of Tapit Tric, Mage, and Arabian Knight look poised to have a spirited battle to the wire.

Wrap-Up: An opportunity to claim Champion Honors

With different Triple Crown race winners, the Haskell offers a chance for one horse to step up and claim 3-year-old champion honors, plus the $1 million BetMakers Bonanza in bonus prize money.

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