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.