The Triple Crown races are in the books, and it is already Haskell preview day at Monmouth. Moving right along as they say.

Before we get to Monmouth let me say this about The Belmont. They came home slow. Nobody the winner and place horses included wanted any part of a mile and a half. At least not at this point in their careers. Keep that in mind when grading the race and the horses coming out of it. Yes, Forte had some legit excuses, but he was also the most accomplished runner in the race, and he was flattered coming home by the staggering field.

The Pegasus (Monmouth Pegasus) is the local prep for The Haskell. On paper there looks to be plenty of speed in there. That will give #1 Classic Catch a nice set up and some pace to run at late. That said he comes out of The Peter Pan won by Belmont Archangelo. That likely makes him an underlay and not one I really want at a short price considering how they came home in The Belmont.

That scenario leads me to #4 Salute the Stars. This colt made two starts on the grass at two, both with some trouble and improved progressively. In his first start at three the race came off the grass and he made his dirt debut. He won stalking the pace a tactic and position that will serve him well in here. That was also his first start for Brad Cox so continued improvement would be no surprise. #8 Kingsbarns comes out of The Derby and likely goes favored but he will have to do it with company on the front end or from off the pace. He might be able to sit and is well drawn outside with Saez to do that, but I will go for the price on Cox.

The Eatontown came up tough and very competitive. I lean to #8 Gina Romantica right off the bench. She is classy and talented and there is some pace to help her late run. She is lightly raced and could have a good year. #1 Surprisingly is well drawn on the rail with paco. She looks very live to me, and I have a hard time separating the two primarily due to the layoff for Gina Romantica.

In the Salvador Mile I like 31 Petulante. This Arrogate colt has yet to run a bad race and from the rail I think he can clear this field under Saez. Yes, there is other speed, but Luis is aggressive, and I believe if he wants to clear he can and at a mile could prove awfully hard to catch even moving to a stake for the first time. If inside speed is playing well, this colt should be rolling on the front end discouraging all the other speed. #9 Artorius another Arrogate colt would benefit from a pace melt down which is not impossible here.

Enjoy the races and win the photos. A lot of great racing coming up.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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