The $1 million Haskell S. (G1) will be run Saturday as race 12 at Monmouth Park. The 1 1/8-mile race is for 3-year-olds and is part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series with 100-40-20-10 points going to the top four finishers. Trainer Bob Baffert has won Monmouth’s signature race eight times and he will be hard to beat this year. Only seven entered and four of them look like they are in it for minor placings.
Top Picks for the Haskell
- #2 Authentic
- #7 Celtic Striker
- #1 Dr Post
Betting the Haskell
- $40 exacta: 2 with 7
- $10 exacta: 7 with 2
#1 Dr Post raced evenly in his career debut going 5 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park last June then returned nine months later with a sharp maiden win at Gulfstream Park going 7-furlongs from post 12 in a wide trip. He won his two-turn and stakes debut there before a good second in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Son of Quality Road should get better with more maturity and picks up Joe Bravo.
#2 Authentic has been my favorite Baffert-trained sophomore all along. He won his first three career starts before running second to the monstrous Honor A. P. in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). In a short field, he broke a bit slow and wound up stalking the pace before coming up empty and not being able to withstand the final surge of his rival. Son of Into Mischief has the typical Baffert training pattern coming in and Mike Smith is in for the ride.
#3 Jesus’ Team broke his maiden against claimers going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park then beat conditioned $25,000 claimers there in good time. Last out, he tried allowance foes and ran well again, so he makes his two-turn dirt debut.
#4 Ancient Warrior is a sprinter stretching out in distance for the first time for Jerry Hollendorfer. He showed a new dimension last out rallying from off the pace, but looks in over his head here. At least he is by hot young sire Constitution, who already has sired a Belmont Stakes (G1) winner in his first crop.
#5 Fame to Famous has had nine career starts and eight of them came on the turf. His lone dirt start came in the Risen Star (G2) at the Fair Grounds and he was beaten 26 lengths. Not sure about all the turf starts since he is sired by Tapit, one of the premier dirt sires in the world.
#6 Lebda could be the one to catch if Alex Cintron sends him as usual. He won two $100K stakes races on the dirt at Laurel during the winter then tired in the Ohio Derby (G3) when contesting the pace. At least he has the right running style and some success against stakes company.
#7 NY Traffic won his two-turn debut at Gulfstream Park and then finished a good third in the Risen Star (G2) going this distance from post 11. He came back there in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and was second from post 11 when blinkers were added. Last out, he was a good second in the Matt Winn S. (G3) behind Maxfield, who had a lot of people excited before getting hurt. (Crazy stat of the day – Paco Lopez is 38% at the meet and Saffie Joseph is 24% for the year, but they are 0-for-9 together.)