A Long Summer So Far

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write. I have been overwhelmed by summer activities, including out-of-town trips to cheer my children at horse shows, lacrosse games and baseball tournaments. It is very exciting to cheer on my kids, and I remind myself that these times will go by quickly. There will be more than enough time to continue my writing and blogging, but these moments with my kids will be gone way too fast. But since I had an hour to fill…. The thought on my mind right now is the next race in which American Pharoah is running. Have you been following his every stop, photo shoot and workout? Probably not, if you are not linked into the many different horse sites that document these things. Everyday in the Washington Post I can find information on the Washington Redskins, the Nationals, and golf’s newest protégé Jordan Spieth, as well as commentary on Serena Williams’s physique. But there’s no mention of the ongoing efforts of American Pharoah. It’s par for the course. Each year after the Triple Crown the sport of horse racing drops out of the general media’s radar. Horse racing isn’t on the same plateau as football, baseball, tennis, golf, and now soccer — with the USA World Cup win. Let me update you on American Pharoah. The Triple Crown Winner is gearing up to run August 2 in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. I am particularly excited about his return, as he will be running at the racetrack where I spent many days as a kid. I grew up a half hour from the racetrack. I toured the backstretch with my 4-H group, watched the Thoroughbreds exercise in the morning mist, and spent my 16th birthday in the clubhouse. It is a beautiful, grand old track. I haven’t been back to Monmouth Park since my younger days, but I have added a return visit to my bucket list. Monmouth Park has a rich history. It was founded July 30, 1870. The founders envisioned a destination to help boost the Jersey shore communities. The track experienced some difficulties over the early years, with two different owners and locations. But the track brought New Jersey many years of high caliber horse racing. Unfortunately in 1894, New Jersey banned pari-mutuel wagering, and the racetrack was closed. It stayed shuttered for over 50 years. One of the men who played a big part in legalizing pari-mutuel wagering and bringing horse racing back to New Jersey was Amory L. Haskell. On June 19, 1946, the Monmouth Park Jockey Club was born and Monmouth Park reopened. Mr. Haskell was president from it’s reopening until his death in 1966. The Haskell Invitational was conceived in 1968, in honor of the man who helped rebuild Monmouth Park. New Jersey Horse Facts: New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other state. The horse is the state animal of New Jersey. Monmouth Park is known as The Shore’s Greatest Stretch. Haskell Invitational Facts: The Haskell Invitational is a mile and an eighth invitational for the nation’s top three-year-olds. The purse is $1million dollars and the winning trophy is considered on of the most prestigious in all of racing. American Pharoah’s Trainer Bob Baffert has won the race seven times. Only two Kentucky Derby winners have won the Haskell. War Emblem won in 2002. (he was also trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Victor Espinoza) and Big Brown in 2008. Bet Twice, the 1987 winner, shares the stakes record time of 1:47 with Majestic Light, the 1976 winner. Two fillies have won the race. Rachel Alexandra won in 2009 and Serena’s Song in 1995. Since 1988, Monmouth Park has given a Haskell hat to those who attend the race. The hat changes every year, and has become one of the traditions surrounding the race. The most exciting finish was in 1987, when Bet Twice passed Lost Code and held off Alysheba in a three horse photo finish. Tune in August 2 to see what happens when American Pharoah returns to the races after his exciting Triple Crown season!

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2 responses to “A Long Summer So Far”

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Kim!

    It’s always interesting to read about opposing seasons online (I’m in Australia). Just finished reading your book yesterday and really enjoyed it!

    How did American Pharoah fare (pardon the pun) in the race last month?

    • tcadmin says:

      Hi Christine,
      Thank you for the compliment and book review! Since AP returned to racing he won the Haskell Invitational the first weekend in August, but unfortunately, he missed my 3/4 of a length to Keen Ice in the Travers Stakes, a horse he had beaten a few times already. His team spent some time pondering next steps and have decided to continue racing him, with his last race the Breeders Cup Classic on October 31. There is no word if he will race in between. You can stay up to date on my Facebook page, You can expect the second installment of the Triple Crown Trilogy in early spring to help kick off the 2016 Triple Crown season! Take care Down Under,

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