Monmouth Park pins hopes on American Pharoah
OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) Monmouth Park officials hope to lure Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 2.
''It would be the biggest day in the history of Monmouth Park and New Jersey racing,'' Monmouth president Bob Kulina said Sunday.
Kulina said the track could break the Haskell attendance record of 53,638 set in 2003 if American Pharoah makes his next start on the Jersey Shore.
Bob Baffert, American Pharoah's trainer, outlined several options Sunday morning - just over 12 hours after the colt completed the sweep of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.
Baffert listed the Haskell, a race he has won a record seven times; the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 1; the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 29 and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 22.
''We're just going to sit down, and figure it out,'' Baffert said.
Owner Ahmed Zayat recently sold American Pharoah's breeding rights to Ashford Stud for a deal that could reach $30 million. Zayat said the colt would continue to race this year, and then be retired to stud.
''We have incredibly strong ties with Bob Baffert,'' Kulina said. ''Mr. Zayat and his family are New Jersey residents. I think we have a legitimate chance to see the first Triple Crown winner to run at Monmouth Park.''