Expert Picks: Haskell Stakes 2020 predictions, longshots

Expert Picks: Haskell Stakes 2020 predictions, longshots
Photo: Benoit

Only in 2020 could the Haskell Stakes serve as a key Kentucky Derby prep, but that gives all the more reason for excitement surrounding this year's Grade 1 edition. Bob Baffert's Authentic, recently a troubled second in the Santa Anita Derby, leads this year's cast as the 4-5 morning line favorite.

Ahead of post time, at 5:48 p.m ET, Horse Racing Nation contributors weighed in with their picks. And in coming to your own conclusions, consult free past performances. Good luck!


Reinier Macatangay

Winner: #7 Ny Traffic

On the board: #1 Dr. Post, #2 Authentic

Longshot I like: #3 Jesus' Team

Analysis: Ny Traffic owns enough speed to stay close without needing the lead. He projects to chase behind Authentic, Ancient Warrior and Lebda, which gives him the perfect striking position on the far turn if those three speed horses wear each other out. If the pace gets too fast and wipes them all out, Dr. Post will close from behind.


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Jarrod Horak

Winner: #1 Dr. Post

On the board: #2 Authentic

Longshot I like: #7 Ny Traffic


Analysis: Dr Post might sit a great ground saving trip behind the speed. The lightly raced, improving colt went from maiden winner to minor stakes winner in less than four weeks, and raced wide throughout from an outer post in a solid place finish in the Belmont Stakes last time. Authentic won his first three starts and used his high cruising speed in back-to-back Derby points race victories. He did not have the best start from the outside post in the Santa Anita Derby, and Honor A. P. just had more stamina that day.

The main concern is going too fast on the lead at a mile and an eighth. He probably wins if he dictates terms, but if the pace is fast and contested, I am expecting my top choice to get the job done. Ny Traffic has turned the corner since stretching out and joining the Saffie Joseph Jr. barn. The early-pressing type likes to get involved early and tries throughout in these points races. He is not far behind the top two but needs a lifetime best to compete for the win.
Wagers: #1 to win, Exacta 1-2, Trifecta Key 1/2-7

Padraic Manocchio

Winner: #2 Authentic

On the board: #1 Dr. Post

Longshot I like: #3 Jesus' Team

Analysis: No need to get cute in this year's Haskell. Authentic will be long gone against this overmatched field on the front end. The improving pair of Dr Post and Jesus' Team will battle it out for the minor awards.


Laurie Ross

Winner: #1 Dr. Post

On the board: #7 Ny Traffic

Longshot I like: #3 Jesus' Team

Analysis: Authentic may be pressured early, setting it up for Dr. Post. Jesus' Team is improving, could complete Superfecta.


Candice Curtis

Winner: #2 Authentic

On the board: #1 Dr. Post

Longshot I like: #5 Fame to Famous


Analysis: This race goes through Authentic and Dr Post - and those two are going to be on top of my tickets. Pace projects to be swift - however, I don't see anyone else good enough to track and pounce like these colts will. Throw closer Fame to Famous underneath in your Tris and Supers for a boost at a payout.

Mark Midland

Winner: #1 Dr. Post

On the board: #2 Authentic

Longshot I like: #3 Jesus' Team

Analysis: There are some nice horses in here but way too many of them want to go to the lead, especially Lebda and Ancient Warrior. I think that's going to take the steam out of Authentic and set it up for Dr Post, who is in great form right now. He was extremely wide in the Belmont which may make his performance even better than it looks on paper.

So how do we make money on the race? For me the key is longshot Jesus' Team. He just ran a great second splitting Sole Volante and Shivaree last out. Now going two turns, if he can sit off the front four, he could be in a great spot to pick up pieces.

The plays:
$20 Exacta 1-3
$20 Trifecta 1 with 2,7 with 3
And back up with a $10 Exacta 2-3 and $10 Trifecta 1-2 with 1-2-7 with 3


Victor Ryan

Winner: #2 Authentic

On the board: #1 Dr. Post

Longshot I like: 
#3 Jesus' Team

Analysis: It's hard to get past the top two betting choices in Authentic and Dr Post. Authentic hasn't broke well in his last two, but a clean start and he figures to be on the lead and tough to catch with Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith taking over in the irons.

Ron Flatter

Winner: #1 Dr. Post

On the board: #2 Authentic

Longshot I like: 
#6 Lebda

Analysis: I am not convinced that Authentic is a nine-furlong horse. But it is Baffert in the Haskell and Authentic on a track that has the reputation for favoring speed. I think Authentic and Ny Traffic will go out quickly enough to work in Dr Post’s closing favor.
Lebda is the only other stakes winner in the field, so I will throw him in with Authentic, both underneath Dr Post in my exotics.

Nick Costa

Winner: #1 Dr. Post

On the board: #7 Ny Traffic

Longshot I like: #3 Jesus' Team

Analysis: Dr. Post had never faced graded competition until he stepped up in the Belmont Stakes. After a wide trip, he rallied with a strong runner up showing down the stretch to grab second-place in the Belmont Stakes behind Tiz the Law. He appears to be peaking at the right time and a contested early lead would ensure an honest pace to allow him to kick home late.

Ny Traffic has really solid graded stakes experience. In three straight races against top competition, he has finished second twice and third once. He's a fighter who will be in it to the end. Jesus’ Team has five in-the-money finishes from seven career races, including a good closing second in an allowance feature at Gulfstream last time out. Not likely to win in this spot, but he should be able to generate a good race to hit the board and fill out the tri or super.

Mary Dixon Reynolds

Winner: #1 Dr. Post

On the board: #2 Authentic

Longshot I like: #7 Ny Traffic

Analysis: Dr. Post won impressively twice at Gulfstream before running second to,arguably the current best 3-year-old in the country, Tiz The Law, in the Belmont. A speed duel between Authentic and NY Traffic would certainly be welcome for Dr. Post who comes from behind. I just don't believe Authentic is as good as all the hype.

Olivia Newman

Winner: #1 Dr. Post

On the board: #2 Authentic

Longshot I like: #6 Lebda

Analysis: It’s hard to count out Baffert, especially in the Haskell. But, I was very impressed with Dr Posts runner up effort to Tiz The Law in the Belmont Stakes. He’s training well and coming into his own. Baffert will have Authentic raring to go, and he will be tough to beat. He’s had some stamina building workouts. As a long shot, I like Lebda. He’s training forwardly; and though he faces a big step up in class, he could pick up some of the pieces in the stretch.


2020 Haskell Stakes (G1)

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