Dr Post with Big Shot in Haskell
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The $1 million TVG.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1) is the premier race at the Monmouth Park summer meeting. The 1 1/8-mile contest heads six stakes races on the July 18 card, and offers the winner 100 points on the Road to the Roses ahead of the September 5 Kentucky Derby.
While Authentic has been made the 4-5 favorite in the field of seven, Dr Post on the rail has a big shot off a 5-2 morning line.
St. Elias Stable’s Dr Post is coming off a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (G1), run on June 20 at Belmont Park. He finished 3 ¾ lengths behind winner Tiz the Law, who was unlikely to lose that day, but is an improving type who broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park in March then added the 1 1/16 mile Unbridled Stakes on April 25. Todd Pletcher trains the son of Quality Road, who picks up jockey Joe Bravo for this spot.
Authentic is the main challenger. Owned by Spendthrift Farm, My Racehorse Stable, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables LLC’s son of Into Mischief was unbeaten going into the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on June 6, but finished second behind Honor A. P. in that race. He had already won the San Felipe (G2) and Sham Stakes (G3) for trainer Bob Baffert, who is attempting to win a record ninth Haskell since 2001.
Ny Traffic, who drew the outside stall, ships in from Florida where he has been training, including a bullet five-furlong work on July 5. The son of Cross Traffic runs for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr and will have Paco Lopez aboard. After winning an optional claimer in January over 1 1/16 miles, he finished third in the Risen Star (G2) and second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) before missing by just a length to Maxfield in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs.
Jesus’ Team, Ancient Warrior, Fame to Famous, and Lebda complete the field.
The Haskell is an historically formful race, with the top two choices winning eight of the last ten editions of the race. It has never before been used as a Kentucky Derby prep race, since the summer classic always takes place after the Run for the Roses, until this year’s delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. Past Haskell winners include the likes of American Pharoah, Serena’s Song, Rachel Alexandra, Holy Bull, Point Given, and Big Brown.
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