From a Monmouth Park release
Monmouth Park Racetrack has announced a $750,000 purse increase to the William Hill Haskell Invitational, which is to be renewed for the 48th time this Sunday, Aug. 2.
“The Haskell has been called the fourth jewel of the Triple Crown,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park Racetrack. “With the Derby purse at $2 million and the Preakness and Belmont going to $1.5 million, it’s only fitting that we join in that mix for our race, which has proven itself the next logical step for 3-year-olds following the Triple Crown.”
The $750,000 addition to the purse makes this year’s Haskell, with a total purse of $1,750,000, the richest non-Breeders’ Cup horse race ever run in New Jersey and recognizes the prestige of a Triple Crown winner running at Monmouth Park.
“We’ve all waited a long time to see a Triple Crown-winning horse and we’re thankful to the Zayat family and trainer Bob Baffert for choosing to showcase their champion at Monmouth Park,” Kulina said. “It will be a historic day for horse racing, Monmouth Park and the State of New Jersey.
“All participants will share in this purse increase. We’ve had purse increases to the Haskell before, but have never seen a Triple Crown winner, so to make this one a record is only fitting.”
In 2001, the purse for the Haskell was $1.5 million when Point Given proved victorious and in 2009 reached $1,250,000 when the filly Rachel Alexandra romped home.
On June 6 of this year American Pharoah became racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner, and first in 37 years, when he captured the Belmont Stakes. He goes into Sunday’s mile and an eighth Haskell off a seven race win-streak dating back to Sept. 3 of last year when he broke his maiden in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.
Throughout its storied history the Haskell has seen 25 champions participate in the race, seven of which went on to be named Horse of the Year and eight who are enshrined in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
The Grade 1 Haskell will go as race 12 on Sunday’s 14-race program – estimated post time at 5:52 p.m. NBC will broadcast this year’s race live from 5 to 6 p.m.