Authentic morning line favorite in Haskell at Monmouth Park

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Belmont Stakes runner-up Dr Post and Santa Anita Derby runner-up Authentic drew the two inside post positions and were made the top choices for Saturday’s $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Seven colts were entered in the 1 1/8-mile race, which this year is no longer the first major race for 3-year-olds following the Triple Crown races.

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the world’s sports schedule and the Kentucky Derby and Preakness have been pushed back to Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, respectively.

Authentic has been installed as the 4-5 morning line favorite and will look to give trainer Bob Baffert his record-extending ninth Haskell win. Mike Smith is listed to ride the California-based colt, who drew the No. 2 post position.

Authentic was second to Honor A.P. in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in his last start on June 6. The colt had won his first three starts.

Baffert last won the Haskell in 2015 with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Dr Post, trained by Todd Pletcher, was made the 5-2 second choice. The colt finished second to Tiz the Law in the Belmont on July 20. The son of Quality Road drew the No. 1 post position and will have Joe Bravo riding for the first time.

Bravo got the mount because regular rider Irad Ortiz could not travel because of recent restrictions established by the New York Racing Association. The NYRA ruled New York-based jockeys who travel out of state cannot compete at Saratoga because of a spike in positive COVID-19 races.

The Haskell will offer points for the Kentucky Derby, with 100 going to the winner, 40 to the runner-up, 20 for third and 10 for fourth. In addition, The Haskell has been designated as “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The owners of Tiz the Law have said they plan to run this year’s winner of the first leg of the Triple Crown in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 8. It would be his final prep for the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.

Also entered in the Haskell in post position order with colt, jockey and odds were:

Jesus’ Team, Nik Juarez, 15-1; Ancient Warrior, Trevor McCarthy, 20-1; Fame to Famous, Jose C. Ferrer, 30-1; Lebda, Alex Cintron, 20-1 and Ny Traffic, Paco Lopez, 7-2.

Arabian Knight off Kentucky Derby trail; will return later

Matt Stone/Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Arabian Knight is off the Kentucky Derby trail.

Wagering has been suspended on the 3-year-old colt for the Derby’s future wager after owner Amr Zedan announced the decision. Arabian Knight was the second choice on the morning line behind favorite Forte for the May 6 race.

“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop,” Zedan tweeted. “We know he’s a superior talent & our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”

Purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, Arabian Knight won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last November. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest at Oaklawn in January and won by 5 1/2 lengths.

Arabian Knight had his third workout at Santa Anita.

Tapit Trice wins Tampa Bay Derby, earns Kentucky Derby points

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tapit Trice rallied from last to win the $360,000 Tampa Bay Derby by two lengths and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice ran 1 1/16 miles 1:43.37. The 1-2 favorite in the field of 12 paid $3 to win. The 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points, which places him in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher extended his record for most wins in the Grade 3 race to six. He already has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte, who won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.

Classic Car Wash was second and Classic Legacy was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Tapit Trice was making his stakes debut after winning two of three starts.

“Once he got clear down the lane, he really extended himself,” Pletcher said. ”I loved the way he finished up. He relished the two turns, and the longer he goes, the better he’ll get.”