Dr Post ran a cracking race when runner-up last time out, so looks worth a wager to go one better in the 1m 1f Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Stakes for three-year-olds at Monmouth Park on Saturday (22:48).
Trained by Todd Pletcher, who has saddled three previous winners of this summertime feature at the New Jersey venue, this Quality Road colt has won two of his four starts.
After finding a sprint contest at Belmont Park on his sole start last year too sharp, he appreciated the step up in trip to 7f on reappearance.
That was the first of two victories at Gulfstream Park. Following an easy maiden victory, Dr Post took a further step up in trip to an extended mile. He followed-up there and was then pitched right in at the deep end.
Considering he went from a minor race straight into a Triple Crown race and chased home Kentucky Derby favourite Tiz The Law in the Belmont Stakes, it was a massive effort.
Although Dr Post was no match for the ready and impressive winner, he was only beaten just over three lengths. He was also clear of the remainder with the field well strung out.
It was a career best from Dr Post. If continuing his progress, then he looks a value bet to land this under Joe Bravo.
Trainer Bob Baffert has saddled a record eight previous winners of the Haskell Invitational Stakes, so Authentic rates a big danger.
The mighty American Pharoah is among those past successes for Baffert. In Authentic, he has a winner of two of his three starts.
All of those outings have come in Graded company at Santa Anita. This is his first start on the Atlantic side of America, then.
After bolting up by 7 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on debut, Authentic followed-up in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. That comfortable victory saw him sent off odds-on for the Santa Anita Derby.
However, Honor A. P. reversed form with Authentic unable to go with him. It raises a slight doubt as to whether there is sufficient stamina in his pedigree for races like this.
Authentic is by Into Mischief, whose progeny are better know for their sprint exploits. At the cramped odds on offer, it may be worth opposing him here and siding with Dr Post instead.
It really does look a match on paper but, should one of the market principals fail to fire, Ny Traffic may take advantage.
Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr, this grey colt by Cross Traffic was an impressive winner of a Claimer on his first start of the year.
Although beaten in all three subsequent starts in Graded company, Ny Traffic has run some fine races in defeat. They include when runner-up in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.
He was only beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Wells Bayou, and the front two pulled a further three lengths clear of the remainder. That gives the form a solid look.
Ny Traffic was then held a length by Maxfield in a Churchill Downs Grade 3 last time out. He was blindsided by a late run from the Godolphin owned winner in the final 50 yards.
On a form line through the fourth home, Attachment Rate, who was fourth lengths behind Ny Traffic, it puts him in the mix for the Haskell Invitational Stakes. This is because that horse was previously 1 1/2 lengths behind Dr Post.
Ny Traffic has good claims of hitting the frame here. He will have to improve to ruffle the top two, but showing is a strong possibility with big prices available on the four other runners.
Of the outsiders, Jesus’ Team looks the best. After an impressive debut win at Gulfstream Park, he was runner-up to Sole Volante.
That came in a Claimer, and the winner went on to be sixth in the Belmont Stakes. That means Jesus’ Team will have to make a big step forward but has plenty of further scope after just two career starts.