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Heading to the Haskell?

A guide to the summer's biggest event at Monmouth Park for the new or casual fan

The Haskell Invitational is kind of a big deal. What the Kentucky Derby is to Churchill Downs, the Haskell is to Monmouth Park.

It's the biggest race of the season for "the Shore's Greatest Stretch" -- a race which has grown to attract Triple Crown horses, such as this year's Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford -- who is set to face off against .

When, Where, and How Much $?

The Haskell runs this Sunday, July 31, shortly after 5:43 p.m. (post time) at in Oceanport. It will be the 12th of 14 races scheduled. Gates open at 10 a.m., with a first race post time of noon.

Grandstand admission is $5, $3 for seniors (55+ years), and children under 12 get in for free. The grandstand offers two decks of seating, concession stands, betting terminals, benches at ground level, the winner's circle, and a picnic area with a playground. You'll want to get there early if you hope to get a table in the picnic area on Haskell day.

All military personnel in uniform or with military ID will get free admission and a Haskell cap.

Clubhouse admission is $8, $5 for seniors. The clubhouse is behind the finish line and offers restaurants, bars, and simulcasting.

Parking is $3 for Grandstand General and Preferred; $5 Clubhouse Preferred; $10 Valet.

If you can't be there in person , ABC will offer a live broadcast from 5-6 p.m.

Grab a Program

Programs cost $3. They include all the information you need to know about the horses running, such as past performances, workouts and handicapper analysis.

Who's Running?

Check out our to find out more about Shackleford, Ruler On Ice, Pants On Fire and the rest of the field.

Haskell who?

Amory L. Haskell is the man responsible for the current incarnation of the Oceanport racetrack, which was built in 1946 after he and others lobbied for legislation. Haskell served as president and chairman of the Monmouth Park Jockey Club until his death in 1966.

How to Bet

If you're over 18 and want to bet, you will have to find a terminal labeled "cash machine." That's where you'll put in your money and receive a paper voucher. You can also visit one of the clerks and have them issue you a voucher or place a bet.

The most basic bet is a WIN, PLACE or SHOW bet. A WIN bet chooses the horse that will finish first, a PLACE bet picks the horse that will finish no lower than second, and a SHOW bet selects the horse that finishes no lower than third. The risk is lower for a PLACE or SHOW bet, so the payoff is also lower. Minimum bet is $2. 

An ACROSS THE BOARD bet is actually three bets on a horse to WIN, PLACE, or SHOW and is expressed on the self-service screen as WPS. Minimum across the board bet $6.

EXACTA, TRIFECTA, and SUPERFECTA bets are also common. An EXACTA bet chooses the horses that finish first and second, in the correct order. An EXACTA BOX bet is actually two bets on the first and second finishers, on two possible orders of finish.

A TRIFECTA chooses the first three horses to finish, by order of finish. Minimum bet is $1. A SUPERFECTA chooses the first four horses to finish, by order of finish. A minimum superfecta bet is .10, and costs $2.40 to box four horses for a potentially large payout.

Bob English July 31, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Even if you are just a casual fan or have never been to the track in your life, today would be that one day to check it out. If you can't make it, ABC will offer a live broadcast from 5-6 p.m.

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