Haskell Invitational Stakes 2020: Post positions, morning-line odds for Kentucky Derby prep race

·4 min read

OCEANPORT, New Jersey - Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run will reverberate through a mostly empty grandstand (attendance will be restricted) at Monmouth Park as the horses come onto the track late Saturday afternoon for the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes.

For the first time, there will be 100 Kentucky Derby points on the line for the winner, with 170 total points available for the Run for the Roses, rescheduled for Sept. 5.

But what the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't changed is the fact that the Grade 1 Haskell is a key part of the summer racing schedule for 3-year-olds.

The Haskell is a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Classic, with a $1 million bonus on the line for any horse that can sweep the Haskell, Kentucky Derby, and Breeders' Cup Classic.

Post time is set for 5:45 p.m. EST, with coverage on NBC from 5-6 p.m.

Posts were drawn Wednesday. Here's a look at the field:

Authentic with exercise rider Ramon Moya, Jr. in the saddle, gallops at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ on Wednesday morning July 15, 2020.  Authentic will compete in Saturday's (7/18) $1,000,000 Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park for trainer Bob Baffert who will be aiming for his ninth Haskell victory.
Authentic with exercise rider Ramon Moya, Jr. in the saddle, gallops at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ on Wednesday morning July 15, 2020. Authentic will compete in Saturday's (7/18) $1,000,000 Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park for trainer Bob Baffert who will be aiming for his ninth Haskell victory.

1. DR POST 5-2

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Joe Bravo

With regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. locked down at Saratoga, 13-time Monmouth Park riding champion Joe Bravo gets the mount, with the 48-year-old looking for his second Haskell win. What Dr Post has going for him is that he's a rapidly improving colt, coming off the best start of his career, rallying wide to finish second behind Tiz the Law in the Belmont Stakes. He posted a 96 Beyer Speed Figure in breaking his maiden in March.

2. AUTHENTIC 4-5

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Mike Smith

Authentic has very good tactical speed and figures to sit just off the pace as Baffert looks for his ninth Haskell win. He went five furlongs in 59.80 at Del Mar on Saturday before shipping to Monmouth Park on Tuesday. Authentic won the first three starts of his career, including the Grade 3 Sham and the Grade II San Felipe at Santa Anita, before he was defeated by Honor A.P., who he beat in the San Felipe, in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on June 6.

C R K Stable’s Honor A.P. and jockey Mike Smith passes Authentic to win the Grade I $400,000 RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby Saturday, June 6, 2020 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.
C R K Stable’s Honor A.P. and jockey Mike Smith passes Authentic to win the Grade I $400,000 RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby Saturday, June 6, 2020 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.

3. JESUS' TEAM 15-1

Trainer: Jose Francisco D'Angelo

Jockey: Nik Juarez

In his last start, Jesus' team settled in just off the pace and rallied on the inside, finishing ahead of Kentucky Derby hopefuls Shivaree and Ete Indien in a key allowance race at Gulfstream, finishing behind another Derby contender in Sole Volante. In his first race out of D'Angelo's barn on May 8, Jesus' Team turned in a dominating performance against $25,000 claimers, winning by 6 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream.

4. ANCIENT WARRIOR 20-1

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Jockey: Trevor McCarthy

Hollendorfer, who won the Haskell in 1989, has a string of horses stabled at Monmouth Park for the first time this summer, with this lightly-raced son of Constitution turning in a pair of methodical five-furlong workouts since arriving there at the start of the month. While Ancient Warrior has never been beyond 6.5 furlongs, he came from off the pace in his last race. It's a Hail Mary pass with a horse Hollendorfer may feel can close and pick up a decent check, and maybe get Grade 1 placed.

5. FAME TO FAMOUS 30-1

Trainer: John McAllen

Jockey: Jose Ferrer

Another contender stabled at Monmouth Park, this son of Tapit is coming off a fourth-place finish in an allowance race on July 4, in which he stalked the pace but was never able to seriously challenge in a race won by 73-1 Panama Papers. After breaking his maiden at Belmont Park last October, Fame to Famous has never been better than fourth in five starts, including an 11th place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star.

6. LEBDA 20-1

Trainer: Claudio Gonzalez

Jockey: Alex Cintron

Based at Laurel Park, the son of Raison D' Etet had won back-to-back stakes races, including a 4 1/4-length score in the Private Terms on March 14 in which he sat just off the pace, and a front-running victory in the Miracle Wood on Feb. 15. In his last start, Lebda ran sixth in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby, challenging for the lead before fading.

7. NY TRAFFIC 7-2

Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.

Jockey: Paco Lopez

Lopez is a six-time riding champion at Monmouth Park, who was on Ny Traffic in his last two races, runner-up finishes in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at 1 3/16 miles, and the Grade 3 Matt Winn at 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs. He earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure in the Matt Winn, finishing behind unbeaten Maxfield, who has since sustained a leg injury.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Haskell Invitational 2020: Post positions, odds for Kentucky Derby prep race