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Opening weekend of the 2020 Saratoga meet was one unlike any other. Seeing that all of our favorite spots at the track were empty was surreal. However, we also got to see several great performances from the upstate New York track, as well as a new Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) qualifier at Monmouth Park. Here’s who made our latest Three Stars of the Week:
At this point, they should just rename the race for Bob Baffert, who on Saturday trained his record ninth winner of the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1). Authentic broke very well – which was his major question mark – and set the pace throughout. Ny Traffic made a late run in the stretch, but Authentic prevailed at the wire for the victory. He earned 100 Kentucky Derby (G1) points, as well as an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He is now officially qualified for the two biggest horse races of the year.
With all due respect to the horses on the Triple Crown trail, this might be one of the best 3-year-olds in training. The way in which Decorated Invader won Saturday’s National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) makes you think that he is just toying with his competition. We cannot wait to see him continue to be a betting “free square” until he faces older horses.
He stretched back out to two turns with a really sharp effort to win Saturday’s Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) on the Haskell undercard. After a pair of one-turn sprints to start 2020, he showed his distance capabilities with a strong effort in the 1 1/8-mile event, taking the field gate to wire while also repelling a strong stretch bid from Bal Harbour. As a 4-year-old son of Curlin, expect him to continue progressing as the year goes along.
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