June 21, 2015

OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) Mr. Jordan won the $157,500 Pegasus Stakes Sunday at Monmouth Park, and an invitation to a possible showdown with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

The Pegasus, along with the Long Branch Stakes on July 11, are the two local prep races for 3-year-olds leading to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 2.

Winners of the Pegasus and the Long Branch are extended invitations to the meet's richest event.

Monmouth Park officials hope to have American Pharoah make his first start since the Belmont Stakes in the Haskell.

The Triple Crown champion could find Mr. Jordan waiting for him.

The colt, owned by David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa, is based at Monmouth with trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr.

''The ownership of this horse are sportsmen,'' Eddie Plesa said of the daunting task of facing American Pharoah. ''We'll look at the Haskell, but we'll wait to see how he comes out of this.''

Mr. Jordan is an improving colt who has won four of six starts. The Pegasus was his second straight stakes win following the Tarpon at Gulfstream Park in late April.

Tekton set the pace in the Pegasus with Mr. Jordan sitting second to his outside.

Those two were still battling at the finish with Mr. Jordan getting up by a head as the 2-1 favorite despite drifting wide in deep stretch.

''He'd been off since April 25th and that's a long time between races for horses,'' Plesa said. ''Was he 100 percent fit? Probably not. Will this fine tune him for whatever his next event is? I would think so.''

The time was 1:42.71 for the 1 1/16 miles on the fast track.

Mr. Jordan, the 2-1 favorite of the crowd of 16,774, paid $6, $3.60 and $2.60.

Tekton returned $5.60 and $3.40.

Good Pick Nick rallied from seventh to get the show spot, paying $2.80.

Dontbetwithbruno was fourth followed by Instant Replay, Chipit, Bodhisattva and Ambidextrous Alex.

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