Belmont Stakes runner-up Dr. Post and Santa Anita Derby runner-up Authentic are among nine 3-year-olds listed as probable for the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park, Oceanport, on July 18, with two other sophomore runners possibly joining the field, director of racing and racing secretary John Heims and stakes coordinator Lynn T. Ott announced.
If all nine go it will be the largest field for Monmouth Park’s signature race since 2014, when there were also nine starters, according to a press release.
This year’s 53rd edition of the Haskell offers the added inducements of points for the Kentucky Derby and a “Win and You’re In” reward for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Monmouth Park is also putting up a $1 million bonus for any horse that sweeps the Haskell, the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The Haskell is one of two Grade 1 races remaining for 3-year-olds prior to the Kentucky Derby, which has been moved to Sept. 5 from its traditional spot on the first Saturday in May because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the press release.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is scheduled for Nov. 7.
Ancient Warrior, Ete Indien, Fame to Famous, Jesus’ Team, Lebda, Ny Traffic and Sonneman are the other probables for the nine-furlong Haskell Stakes.
The connections of Modernist, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, and Mystic Guide are also considering the Haskell Stakes, according to the press release. If one or both of those decide to go it would mark the largest Haskell field since 11 horses started in the 1995 race.
Dr. Post, trained by Todd Pletcher, had won two of his first three career starts before finishing second to Tiz the Law in the Belmont Stakes on June 20.
Authentic, second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby to Honor A.P. on June 6, represents trainer Bob Baffert’s attempt to win a record ninth Haskell.
Baffert has captured the race in 2015 (American Pharoah), 2014 (Bayern), 2012 (Paynter), 2011 (Coil), 2010 (Lookin at Lucky), 2005 (Roman Ruler), 2002 (War Emblem) and 2001 (Point Given).
Post time for Haskell Day on July 18 is noon, with the Grade 1 United Nations also part of the stakes-filled card. The Grade 3 Monmouth Cup, the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher and the Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes are part of the undercard as well.
Details for Haskell Day tickets will be announced shortly, according to the press release.