American Pharoah Primed for Haskell Day

HorseRacingNation.com
August 02, 2015 05:47am
American Pharoah Primed for Haskell Day

Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, who has won seven straight graded stakes races on six different racetracks, gave every indication on Saturday morning that he is primed for Sunday’s Grade 1, $1.75 million William Hill Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

 

“He loved the track today. He just floated over it,” said Jimmy Barnes,” Bob Baffert’s assistant, who supervised the colt’s final preparations until the Hall of Fame trainer arrives from his Southern California base later in the day.

 

The Zayat Stables’ homebred went out for his final gallop at 7:30 a.m. during the 20 minute period reserved for Haskell runners, and an estimated crowd of 6,500 showed its enthusiastic appreciation while gathered all the way from the top of the stretch to the clubhouse turn. It was the last chance the fans, 5,000 of whom turned out to watch the colt gallop and wildly cheer him the day before, will have to see American Pharoah until the walk-over from the backstretch before the race.

 

“We just want him to get a good break, get to the outside, and work his way around there. If he gets a clean trip, he’ll do the rest,” said Barnes.

 

In other Haskell action:

 

Ø      Keen Ice went out onto the track after American Pharoah had completed his exercise and enjoyed a perfect 1 ½ miles gallop. “We’re A-Okay. He bounced around out there,” said trainer Dale Romans, who will saddle the son of 2007-2008 Horse of the Year Curlin for Donegal Racing. “Ever since day one, I’ve had this horse he’s been better than the day before. He’s been like the basketball player who started off in J.V. and now he’s in the NBA. The way he trained this morning is as good as a horse can train.”

 

  • Todd Pletcher, who won the Haskell in 2013, 2007 and 2006, has three horses entered in the 2015 edition. Nonna’s Boy and Dontbetwithbruno will carry owner Mike Repole’s blue and orange colors and run uncoupled.  The multiple graded stakes winner Competitive Edge, who won the first four of his five starts by a combined 30 lengths, will break from the gate under Hall of Fame Rider Mike Smith. The Pletcher charges will depart Saratoga early Sunday morning for the van ride to Monmouth Park.

 

  • Gary and Mary West’s Top Clearance galloped a mile and a half over the Monmouth main track this morning with American Pharoah and Keen Ice in front of another big crowd. Trainer Wayne Catalano described the gallop as “great” as he comes off his latest allowance/optional claimer victory at Monmouth Park.

 

  • David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s Mr. Jordan galloped two and a half miles early in the morning, before the crowds arrived to watch American Pharoah gallop. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said his Grade 3 Pegasus winner looked 100 percent and was better than yesterday.

 

  • Ralph M. Evans and WinStar Farm’s Upstart was out on the Saratoga Race Course surface early Saturday morning for what trainer Rick Violette, Jr. termed “a great little gallop”. The winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream will be back in the gate for the first time since he competed against fellow Haskell competitors American Pharoah and Keen Ice in the Kentucky Derby (G1), and he has made a terrific impression in the mornings all week. “He could not be coming in to the race any better,” said his trainer. “We’ll ship first thing in the morning and show up at The Shore ready to go.”   

 

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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