NJ race fans pumped for American Pharoah
Momentum and excitement is building in New Jersey for the arrival of American Pharoah, the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. The beloved 3-year-old thoroughbred will take part in the Haskell Invitational on Sunday, Aug. 2, at Monmouth Park Racetrack.
"This is fantastic for the New Jersey racing industry," said Dennis Drazin, adviser at Monmouth Park. "No horse has won the Triple Crown in more than three decades, and there were doubters who thought that it would never be done again. This is a super horse, a horse that is just quality above all others who have been racing over the past several years. He had pitches from all over the country. The Haskell was the perfect race for him, and we are fortunate enough that they are blessing us with his attendance here at Monmouth Park."
Drazin expects American Pharoah's visit to provide both short-term and long-term benefits for the racing industry in the state.
"In the short term, of course, we'll see 60,000 to 65,000 people in the area, which will bring an economic boom to the surrounding region," he said. "In the long term, it will put Monmouth Park and the New Jersey thoroughbred horse racing industry on a world-class stage."
There will be plenty of opportunities for the public to get a glimpse of the horse. He will leave his current home in Del Mar, Calif., on Wednesday morning, and board a flight for Atlantic City International Airport, where he is expected to arrive at 1:30 p.m. A police escort will then deliver him to Monmouth Park. Beginning Thursday, American Pharoah will gallop three straight days on the track between 7:30 and 7:50 a.m., when the track will be open only for Haskell participants. The clubhouse will be open to the public for those sessions on Friday and Saturday.
"We expect American Pharoah's attendance to give us the momentum to show everyone in the state that racing is worth keeping," Drazin said. "This is a billion-dollar industry that translates into 13,000 jobs and thousands of acres of open space. We're getting all kinds of calls from people who have never been to a horse race who have caught the Triple Crown fever."
A "Pharoah Phan Phestival" will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Monmouth Park, with all kinds of events planned. For more information, visit monmouthpark.com.