The $1 million Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) is the highlight race of the Monmouth Park meeting, featuring some of the top 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles over the main track in Oceanport, New Jersey. A crowd of 35,253 enjoyed a mostly sunny Sunday afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70's. Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Paynter was sent off as the even-money favorite in the field of 6. In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice and Wood Memorial (G1) winner Gemologist, unraced since a distant 16th in the Kentucky Derby (G1), and 7-2 third choice Dullahan, third in the Derby but 7th in the Belmont after winning the Blue Grass Stakes (G1).
Jockey Javier Castellano sent Gemologist to the early lead and he was stalked by Paynter and 8-1 Nonios through fractions of 23.88, 48.01, and 1:11.37 over the fast track. Entering the stretch, Gemologist tired as Paynter easily took over the lead through 1 mile in 1:36.23. Nonios gave chase to no avail, as Paynter drew off late to win by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:48.87. It was a long 4 1/2 lengths back to 28-1 longest shot Stealcase third.