LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -At the head of the stretch in the $1 million Haskell Stakes, trainer Bob Baffert’s talented Kentucky Derby contender, Authentic seemed to have this mile and an eighth race in the bag. But at the sixteenth pole, challenger Ny Traffic dug in and nearly caught Authentic, who managed to hold on to win by a nose.
With the victory, Authentic remained one of the top favorite’s for the September fifth Run for the Roses. A bad habit of the colt though nearly cost him the race which was contested at Monmouth Park on Saturday afternoon.
“He likes to look around and loses focus,” Baffert said on NBC Sports’ post race coverage. “I told Mike Smith (Authentic’s rider) to keep him busy.”
Authentic has had a tendency to lose focus during his races. So Baffert now has time to try and teach his colt to keep his head in the game .
If the five-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer is successful in doing so, Authentic will pose a threat at Churchill Downs.
Haskill runner-up, Ny Traffic might be a threat for the Kentucky Derby, too. Saturday’s effort was one of the best of his career. It marked the third straight second place finish as Ny Traffic was also second in both the Louisiana Derby and Matt Winn Stakes.