Haskell purse up to $1.75M days before American Pharoah runs

OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) The purse for the Haskell Invitational has been increased by $750,000 to $1.75 million with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah set to run in the race Sunday.

Monmouth Park made the announcement Wednesday, the day American Pharoah arrived at the track after a cross-country flight from California.

The purse has been $1 million since 1997, but increases were made when champions Point Given in 2001 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009 appeared in the race.

In boosting the purse, track president Bob Kulina calls the Haskell a next logical step for 3-year-olds after the Triple Crown. Kulina thanks American Pharoah owner Ahmed Zayat and trainer Bob Baffert for bringing the horse to New Jersey.

A record crowd nearing 60,000 is expected for the Haskell.

American Pharoah swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

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