American Pharoah Continues Haskell Preparations
August 01, 2015 06:10am

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah never turned a hair when galloping in front of 5,000 adoring and cheering fans who turned out early on Friday morning to watch him continue his preparations up to Sunday’s Grade 1, $1.75 million William Hill Haskell Invitational.


“It was wonderful, wasn’t it?” said Jimmy Barnes, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s assistant, who watched the six-time Grade 1 winner gallop 1 3/8 miles under regular exercise rider Jorge Alvarez, from the backstretch gap and heard the roar of affection sweep across the track.


Zayat Stables’ homebred went out at 7:30 a.m. during the 20 minute period reserved for Haskell runners, and Barnes reported the son of Pioneerof the Nile got over it fine and he continues to show his connections exactly what they want to see two days out from his first return to the races since winning the Belmont Stakes on June 6.


There was another chance for an “up close and personal’ with the colt, who has electrified racing fans across the continent, when Barnes brought him to the paddock for a schooling lesson with the horses competing in Friday’s first race.


American Pharoah, and the other Haskell competitors on the grounds, will be on the track on Saturday from 7:30 to 7:50 a.m.and the public is invited to watch from the Clubhouse and Grandstand again,


In other Haskell action:


  • Keen Ice, who closed well to wind up third to American Pharoah in the Belmont last time out, also went out to stretch his legs during a 1 ¼ miles gallop under the regular exercice rider for trainer Dale Romans, who arrived in town on Thursday night to tighten the screws on the son of Curlin.

After the Donegal Stables color bearer, who also received applause and cheers from the morning crowd, came off the track right before 1-5 morning line favorite American Pharoah, Romans said, “It’s sort of like being on the basketball poster where you’re the guy getting dunked on.”


  • Three-time Haskell winning-trainer Todd Pletcher reported from Saratoga Race Course that his trio of Haskell runners are good to go, and that Competitive Edge, Nonna’s Boy and Dontbetwithbruno all galloped there this morning and all “went great.”

Although Nonna’s Boy, a wire-to-wire winner of the Lamplighter Stakes here last out, and runner-up Dontbetwithbruno are owned by Repole Stables, they will run as separate betting interests.

  • David MelinLeon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s Mr. Jordan, who last worked four furlongs on July 23 in :49, came out to gallop with American Pharoah and company, where he went a mile and seven-eighths over the main track. “He looked great today and couldn’t be doing any better,” said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.


  • Gary and Mary West’s Top Clearance, who last worked at Monmouth on July 24 going seven furlongs in 1:25 2/5, galloped a mile and a half over the main track this morning in front of a big crowd alongside his pony. Trainer Wayne Catalano said Top Clearance’s gallop was “excellent.”


  • Ralph M. Evans and WinStar Farm’s Upstart, who turned in a bullet 4 furlong breeze on July 25 when he was the fastest of 109 horses working the same distance at Saratoga, also went through the final stages of his preparation at his home track on Friday. Trainer Rick Violette, Jr. said that the Grade 2 winning son of Flatter comes in to the race in superb shape and that he will ship the horse to Monmouth on Sunday morning.



The 48th edition of the Haskell will be televised on NBC from 5-6 p.m. and is the 12th of 14 races on the card. Gates open at 9 a.m., with first post at 11:30 a.m.

Source: Monmouth Park



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