Monmouth Park takes its turn in the spotlight on Saturday with a Haskell (G1) day program that includes five supporting stakes, including the Grade 1 United Nations.
This year's Haskell Stakes, which has retained its $1 million purse, will for the first time serve as an official prep for the Kentucky Derby, which was rescheduled to Sept. 5 due to the coronavirus. The top four finishers in the Haskell will receive qualifying points towards the Derby paid out on a scale of 100-40-20-10.
In addition to the Haskell and $300,000 United Nations on turf, Monmouth Park will host the $300,000 Monmouth Cup (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the main track; $250,000 Molly Pitcher (G3) at 1 1/16 miles for older fillies and mares; $150,000 Matchmaker (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on turf and the $75,000 Wolf Hill Stakes for turf sprinters.
Below is an early look at how the fields are shaping up, courtesy of the Monmouth Park racing office.
$1 million Haskell Stakes (G1)
Authentic will ship east for trainer Bob Baffert for his start since finishing second to Honor A. P. in the June 6 Santa Anita Derby (G2). Authentic currently ranks third in Derby qualifying with 100 points.
Lightly raced Dr Post will look to build on a promising runner-up finish to Tiz the Law in the Belmont Stakes, while Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Ete Indien returns to stakes company after prepping in an allowance/optional claimer at Gulfstream Park.
$300,000 United Nations Stakes (G1)
A wide-open field of nine is projected for this 1 3/8-mile turf test. Somelikeithotbrown will look to build off a third behind likely United Nations starter Paret in the June 4 Tiller Stakes Belmont Park, which was his second start off a more than 11-month layoff.
Paret, a veteran 6-year-old gelding who began his career overseas, earned his first stakes win in the Tiller. Multiple stakes winner Standard Deviation started the season in February in the Middle East with a second in a stakes in Qatar before returning and finishing off the board in the Tiller.
$300,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3)
Grade 1 winner Math Wizard is slated to return to stakes company after a disappointing off-the-board finish at Gulfstream Park on June 23. Joevia, a veteran of last year's Belmont Stakes, will try for a first graded stakes score after most recently finishing fourth behind Code of Honor in the June 6 Westchester (G3) at Belmont Park.
Core Belief, winner of last year's New Orleans Classic (G2), will be making his second start off a more than six-month layoff after running third in a Churchill Downs allowance/optional claimer on June 6.
$250,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3)
She's a Julie is pointing to this spot after springing a 14-1 upset in the June 13 Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park, which was her second start off a more than five-month layoff.
Positive Spirit, winner of the Demoiselle (G2) as a juvenile in 2018, is slated to make her first start since failing to beat a horse in last year's Kentucky Oaks; while Horologist, who won last year's Monmouth Oaks (G3) as a sophomore, returns to Monmouth Park after running fifth in the May 31 Santa Maria Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
$150,000 Matchmaker Stakes (G3)
Reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Starship Jubilee has won five of her last six starts and three straight, which includes the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf, Suwannee River Stakes (G3) and most recently the March 7 Hillsborough Stakes (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs.
Passing Out is an improving 4-year-old filly who exits a solid third behind multiple Grade 1 winner Rushing Fall in the June 3 Beaugay (G3) at Belmont Park, while stakes winner Valiant gets slight class relief after finishing off the board in the New York.
Nay Lady Nay won last year's Mrs. Revere (G3) in her final start as a 3-year-old and kicked off this season with an off-the-board finish in the May 30 Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill Downs off a five-month layoff.