Richie Sambora has dedicated a song from his upcoming album to American Pharoah.

American Pharoah at Monmouth Park
American Pharoah at Monmouth Park (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

The former member of Bon Jovi is excited to be among the 60,000 at Monmouth Park for today's $1.75 million Haskell Invitational as a guest of the Triple Crown winning horse's owner, the Zayat family. "I'm excited for Sunday," Sambora told People. "I know he is gonna win again! What could be greater than spending a day with a great Jersey family – the Zayats – Jersey folks and a Jersey horse running at my hometown track, Monmouth Park?"

Sambora met American Pharoah at his home stable in California. As Sambora petted and nuzzled the horse, trainer Bob Baffert said to him, "this horse needs a song," Sambora recalled to People.

Sambora told Baffert that the song "Rise" from his new solo album would be perfect. "I have been following the attempts of so many horses to take the illusive Triple Crown," he told People. "It is a great anthem for this sport of kings, horse racing."

American Pharoah is a 1-5 favorite in Sunday's race, his first since winning the Triple Crown. Baffert tells the Los Angeles Times he has put his horse through some tough training over the past 10 days in preparation. "He's just holding his form, which is pretty incredible for a horse that has been through what he has been through," said Baffert. "He's getting stronger. He's maturing."

As for Baffert himself, he will keep up his tradition of eating a "lucky hot dog" from Max's Famous Hot Dogs in Long Branch this afternoon.


More From New Jersey 101.5 FM