IN his first outing after his impressive Triple Crown slam, track star American Pharoah

proved his star status isn’t a fluke by dominating the $1.75 million William Haskell Invitational (G1) last July 31.

The nine-furlong (1,800 meters) race held at Monmouth Park featured six other runners. Competitive Edge grabbed the lead, with American Pharoah running off-the-pace a very close second, his jockey Victor Espinoza keeping a tight rein.

Espinoza made his move at the half mile and took the lead at the quarter pole, American Pharoah eating up ground like it was oats. There was no need to whip nor urge the famous colt, who was eased into a canter in the final stage of the race and still won by 2-1/4 lengths.

Keen Ice placed second, followed by Upstart in third and Competitive Edge in fourth. Total time for the race was 1:47.95.

A record crowd of 60,983, the biggest in Monmouth Park history, turned out to watch American Pharoah add yet another jewel to his crown. Although he lost his debut race a year ago, he has won eight straight since then, with seven of them G1 races on six different racetracks, and five of them within this year – the Arkansas Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, and Haskell.

The 146th Travers Stakes (G1) on August 29 at Saratoga is beckoning, with the New York Racing Association set to increase the purse from $1.25 million to $1.6 million if American Pharoah joins the field. Already, social media is bursting with the canny marketing hashtag #Pharoahtoga.

Right after American Pharoah’s win, owner Ahmed Zayat and Bob Baffert said “the horse comes first,” and will consider the horse’s condition before deciding where to run him next.

Kentucky-born American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile x Littleprincessemma) was bred by Zayat Stables. In addition to his other honors, he was also named Eclipse Champion 2YO Male in 2014.

“This horse is more than the Horse of the Year,” said racing fan Scott Purington on the

TVG Network Facebook page. “This horse is a legend.”

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On Aug. 16, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office National Grand Derby will be held at Santa Ana Park. The mile race is open to 3YO who were 2YO PCSO Maiden Race runners in 2014.

On Aug. 23, it’ll be the fifth leg of the Philracom Import/Local Challenge, to be run over 2,000 meters at Metroturf Racecourse.

Preparations are also ongoing for the 7th running of the Mayor Ramon Bagatsing Memorial Racing Festival, with the big day set for Aug. 30 at San Lazaro Leisure Park. This coincides with the first leg of the Philippine Racing Commission Juvenile Colts and Fillies stakes.


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