Thirty-three horses were nominated to the Grade 1, $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes, with Monmouth Park’s signature race on July 18 offering the added inducements of points for the Kentucky Derby and “Win and You’re In” status for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, racing secretary/handicapper John Heims and stakes coordinator Lynn T. Ott announced today.
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 this year.
The nine-furlong Haskell, to be contested for the 53rd time, headlines a stakes-filled program that includes the Grade 1 United Nations. It is one of just two Grade 1 races left for 3-year-olds prior to the Kentucky Derby, which has moved to Sept. 5 from its traditional spot the first Saturday in May because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is set for Nov. 7.
A total of 170 points will be available for a chance to make the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby, with 100 going to the Haskell winner, 40 to the runner-up, 20 to the third-place finisher and 10 to the fourth-place horses.
Santa Anita Derby runner-up Authentic is one of three runners nominated from trainer Bob Baffert’s barn. Cezanne and Uncle Chuck are the others.
Baffert has won the Haskell Invitational a record eight times, doing so in 2015 (American Pharoah), 2014 (Bayern), 2012 (Paynter), 2011 (Coil), 2010 (Lookin at Lucky), 2005 (Roman Ruler), 2002 (War Emblem) and 2001 (Point Given).
Opening Day for the 2020 Monmouth Park meet is set for Friday, July 3, with a 5 p.m. first post. Saturday and Sunday post times will be 12:50, with the exception of a noon start on Haskell Day.