by Zoe Cadman
July 16, 2020
XBTV crews in California and Florida were able to track a pair of Saturday’s Haskell Stakes contender through their major morning preparations. Analyst Zoe Cadman provides her insights:
Authentic | July 11 Workout | July 10 Gallop | July 4 Workout | June 28 Workout
Let’s face it; Bob Baffert knows how to win the Haskell, having won it a record 8 times (most recently in 2015 with American Pharaoh). The previously undefeated Authentic lost some of his sparkle when simply finishing second-best to Honor A.P. in the Santa Anita Derby. He will now get Hall of Famer Mike Smith in the irons Saturday, replacing Drayden Van Dyke (We have seen this ending before…). Mike’s last win in the Haskell was way back in 1994 aboard Holy Bull. But let's cut to the chase: Fitness is certainly not going to an issue for this lightly framed son of Into Mischief. He has been likened to a gazelle by his trainer. Since the Santa Anita Derby, he has worked 5 times, all solo drills. On June 28, he sped 6 furlongs in a rank fashion under Drayden in 1:11.60. The following week on July 4, he looked surprisingly much more relaxed under Juan Ochoa, working a mile in 1:39 flat. Breaking off that morning at the 6-furlong pole, Authentic was in a high gallop before being asked to finish up. Super work. He duly shipped to Del Mar and put in his final work July 11 under Ochoa again in :59.80, visually impressive finishing up nicely. Here is a colt who’s fit and ready and will be the speed of the speed. If the Haskell was a mile in distance, I would say he’s a lock. But it’s not!
Ny Traffic | July 12 Workout | July 5 Workout
This son of Cross Traffic already has secured a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate for the first Saturday in September. He has a 70 Derby qualifying points moving forward. After missing an expected start in the Belmont Stakes due to a short sickness (and missed works), he appears to have rebounded nicely. His July 12 work in company with the overmatched Queen Nekia (8-for-26, Grade 3-placed) was good. Ny Traffic is beginning to really relax in his works, siting well off his workmate and inhaling her with ease in a very solid time (:59.60) at GP. One other thing I have noticed is this grey colt seems to have put on the weight he lost due to shipping and getting sick. This colt is on the move and not to be dismissed in a Haskell where the likely favorite, Authentic, is Goliath no more.