OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) Triple Crown winner American Pharoah took an easy tour of the track at Monmouth Park on Thursday morning, another step toward the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational.
The colt was taken for a slow, one-mile jog on his first trip over the surface for Sunday's race. American Pharoah will the heavy favorite to win in his first start since sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes and becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner.
American Pharoah stepped out on the track shortly after 7:30 a.m. and hugged the outer fence down the backstretch and grandstand rail, where fans gathered to snap cellphone shots.
Back at the barn, he alertly posed for photos after receiving a bath on the warm morning under the supervision of Jimmy Barnes, Bob Baffert's assistant trainer.
''He had a very high energy level this morning,'' Barnes said. ''We couldn't be happier. The first day, we usually do something very light and we gave him a good look at the place.''
Barnes said American Pharoah would have a more vigorous gallop Friday morning.
''He's a very well-mannered horse,'' Barnes said. ''It makes it very easy to travel with him and experience new places.''