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American Pharoah Wins Gr1 Haskell Invitational
Triple Crown hero American Pharoah continued his inexorable surge towards greatness when cruising to a dominant victory in the US$1.75 million Gr1 Haskell Invitational (9 furlongs) at Monmouth Park today. The champion colt was simply awesome in disposing of his high class rivals with ease when running out a comfortable 2.5-length winner on the line over the fast finishing Keen Ice and Upstart back in third. Jockey Victor Espinoza was unmoved aboard the son of Pioneerof the Nile gearing him down in the final furlong to post a winning margin that could have been far greater had he been asked for an effort. Despite the easy nature of the win, American Pharoah was still able to record a brilliant winning time of 1:47.80 for the 9 furlongs. "He's just a great horse," trainer Bob Baffert said. "I've never been in this situation before where the last thing we want to do is embarrass the horse. There's a lot of pressure coming here. There were some good horses, some tough horses in there today. But I just told Victor don't worry about it, if you're on the best horse he'll win, and he did it." Owner Ahmed Zayat commented: "It's very rare that I'm speechless but I couldn't be happier or more proud of the horse. This is a superstar." Neither Baffert or Zayat would be drawn on a possible next target for American Pharoah. American Pharoah took his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Kentucky Derby, Gr1 Preakness Stakes, Gr1 Belmont Stakes, Gr1 Futurity & Gr1 Arkansas Derby) from 8 starts for over US$5 million prize money.