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Ruler On Ice the Value Play in Haskell Invitational

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 7/29/2011 6:18:10 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Ruler On Ice
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Haskell Invitational
  • Where: Monmouth Park
  • When: Sunday, July 31st

Ruler On Ice may just be getting started! There was nothing flukey about this wacky gelding’s Belmont Stakes win, but bettors may not be ready to jump on the bandwagon. Ignore him in Sunday’s Haskell Invitational at your peril. Here’s a quick look at the Haskell lineup:

#1-Coil: Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has been shipping sharp horses East for decades, and Coil is another who appears set for a top effort. He passed his 2-turn test in the Grade 3 Affirmed two back, and hung tough in Grade 2 Swaps last out, missing by a head. He’s got tactical speed, should enjoy a ground-saving trip, and continues to train with gusto. He’s a headstrong colt, so perhaps the removal of blinkers will help him relax early for a change. This will be his dirt debut, but the son of Point Given should handle the surface switch. A major player, but 3-1 seems a bit low.

#2-Joe Vann: Pletcher trainee got on a nice roll earlier in the year against lesser, but has been a fringe player in his last pair. That lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 93, which he earned in the Illinois Derby romp, won’t cut it here. Even the presence of local hero Bravo won’t get this guy into the exotics.
#3-Pants On Fire: First half of Breen/Hall “Fire and Ice” duo gets rider switch from Napravnik to Trujillo off solid score in Grade 3 Pegasus. He posted a sharp local drill last Sunday in lock step with stablemate Ruler On Ice, but “Ice” appears to have more upside. Useable underneath in tri’s and supers.

#4-Concealed Identity: Maryland-bred continues his steady climb up the Beyer ladder, but his lifetime-best of 91 is the lowest in the field. Pass.
#5-Shackleford: His Preakness win still confounds the experts…set a slow pace (:48 3/5…1:13 2/5) in the Derby and faded, then pressed a quick first half in The Preakness and hung on. The lead is his if he wants it, and it’s unlikely that anyone else will gun for it. ‘Shack ran well fresh  at this distance in his 3YO bow at Gulfstream, so he should take this group a long way on Sunday. Like Coil, though, his morning line price (5-2) is unappealing.

#6-Ruler On Ice: Trainer Breen said this guy wouldn’t have blown out a match after his shocking Belmont Stakes win...I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s just starting to figure things out. The addition of blinkers had to help. There figures to be an honest pace, so look for Ruler On Ice to launch his bid from mid-pack. Home-field advantage applies as well. The pick at odds of 4-1 or better.

#7-J J’s Lucky Train: This guy has done his best running at 7-furlongs…he came up a bit short in a pair of two-turn efforts over Aqueduct’s Inner Dirt. The water’s much deeper in here…he’ll need more than his share of luck to last for a minor share.

#8-Astrology: This colt was highly regarded as a 2YO, and big things were expected of him this year. He got a late start, however, and played catch-up most of the spring. That third-place finish in The Preakness was solid, but the wheels came off in The Iowa Derby last out as the 1-2 chalk. He’s clearly capable of landing in one of the top three spots with a return to form. 9-2 seems about right.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for Sunday’s Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Best of luck and happy gambling! 

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