All three Grade 1 races run in the U. S. on July 18 were won by Kentucky-breds, headlined by Authentic’s victory in the $1 million Haskell S. at Monmouth Park.
Aquaphobia captured the United Nations S., one of the nation’s premier turf races for males, while Paris Lights won a thrilling renewal of the Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on opening weekend at Saratoga.
All three victories were the first Grade 1 scores for the winners.
Authentic, a son of the nation’s leading sire Into Mischief, was a two-time graded winner prior to the Haskell, and came out of the race with a guaranteed spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on Sept. 5, as well as free entry into the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) as part of the “Win and You’re In” series.
Trained by Bob Baffert for Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing, Authentic was bred by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds and sold for $350,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Aquaphobia, by Giant’s Causeway, had been knocking on the door in graded company earlier this year, and got his breakthrough win as he stretched out to 1 3/8-miles for the first time on Saturday. A nine-time winner of nearly $650,000, Aquaphobia is owned by Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher, Hooties Racing, and Skychai Racing. He was bred by Roy and Gretchen Jackson and is out of the multiple Grade 1 winner Pussycat Doll, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and Spendthrift stallion Jimmy Creed.
Paris Lights bested fellow Kentucky-bred Crystall Ball by a head after a spirited duel. Both fillies are owned by WinStar Stablemates Racing. The winner was also bred by WinStar Farm. Paris Lights is a daughter of Curlin, who also sired 2015 CCA winner Curlina. Paris Lights is the first foal out of her dam Paris Bikini and hails from the extended family of Better Than Honour, the dam of Belmont S. (G1) winners Jazil and Rags to Riches.
The upcoming weekend’s action is topped by the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt S. for 3-year-olds at Saratoga, as well as the return of Maximum Security, who will make his debut for trainer Bob Baffert in the San Diego H. (G2) at Del Mar.