American Pharoah is 1-5 favorite in first race since Triple Crown

BY foxsports • July 30, 2015

The $1.75 million Haskell Invitational Stakes marks American Pharoah’s first start since capturing the Triple Crown with his impressive Belmont Stakes victory. Record crowds are expected during Monmouth Park’s three-day Pharoah Phan Phestival leading up to the race, and though American Pharoah will be a heavy favorite, there is some graded stakes-winning competition looking to upset the champ. Get the lowdown on each horse expected for the Haskell below, in post position order with morning-line odds.

1. Upstart (6-1 ML Odds)

Jockey: Joe Bravo

Trainer: Rick Violette

Owner: Ralph Evans and WinStar Farm

Career Record: 8 starts - 3 wins, 3 seconds, 1 thirds

Career Earnings:  $971,480

Earnings Per Start: $121,435

Pedigree: Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold

Color: Dark bay

Running Style: Stalker

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: Upstart had never finished out of the money until an unexplainable 18th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. The New York-bred's connections regrouped and are ready to try American Pharoah again in the Haskell. Upstart won the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes in February and crossed the wire first in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth before being disqualified to second. He also finished second in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

2. Competitive Edge (8-1)

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owner: Nancy Favreau, Kathy Psoinos and Michael Tabor

Career Record:  5 starts - 4 wins, 0 seconds, 0 thirds

Career Earnings:  $427,280

Earnings Per Start: $85,456

Pedigree: Super Saver – Magdalena’s Chase, by Cape Town

Color: Bay

Running Style: Stalker/pacesetter

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: A son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, Competitive Edge was undefeated until an inexplicably poor effort in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes in June. His recent workouts indicate he’s back in the top form that gave him wins in last summer’s Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes and the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile Stakes in May. Leading trainer Todd Pletcher has won the Haskell three times, trailing only Baffert for most wins by a trainer.

3. Nonna's Boy (30-1)

Jockey: TBD

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owner: Repole Stable

Career Record:  7 starts - 3 win, 1 seconds, 1 thirds

Career Earnings:  $146,440

Earnings Per Start: $20,920

Pedigree: Distorted Humor – Nonna Mia, by Empire Maker

Color: Bay

Running Style: Pacesetter

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: Nonna's Boy is owned and trained by Mike Repole and Todd Pletcher, respectively, the same connections that campaigned 2010 champion 2-year-old male and current sire Uncle Mo. Nonna's Boy enters the Haskell off a win in the Lamplighter Stakes over the Monmouth Park turf course but has been unsuccessful in dirt stakes to date.

4. American Pharoah (1-5)

Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owner: Zayat Stables

Career Record:  8 starts - 7 wins, 0 seconds, 0 thirds

Career Earnings:  $4,530,300

Earnings Per Start: $566,288

Pedigree: Pioneerof the Nile - Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman

Color: Bay

Running Style: Pacesetter

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: American Pharoah’s reputation precedes him. Last year’s champion 2-year-old won the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years and arguably the most well-known horse on the planet. He rides a seven-race win streak into the Haskell and according to Bob Baffert, “keeps getting stronger.” His owner, Zayat Stables, also bred him and raced his sire, Pioneerof the Nile. Baffert and Zayat partnered to win the Haskell in 2012 with Paynter.

5. Mr. Jordan (15-1)

Jockey: Paco Lopez

Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr.

Owner: David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa

Career Record:  6 starts - 4 wins, 2 seconds, 0 thirds

Career Earnings:  $253,095

Earnings Per Start: $42,183

Pedigree: Kantharos – Miss Skeetd, by Cloud Hopping

Color: Gray

Running Style: Stalker/pacesetter

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: Mr. Jordan has never finished worse than second but hasn’t faced this level of competition before. He enters the race after winning his first graded stakes and a local prep for the Haskell, the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes in June. Mr. Jordan will be running over his home track as he lives at Monmouth Park and trains there every day.

6. Keen Ice (12-1)

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Trainer: Dale Romans

Owner: Donegal Racing

Career Record:  9 starts - 1 win, 0 seconds, 3 thirds

Career Earnings:  $310,395

Earnings Per Start: $34,488

Pedigree: Curlin – Medomak, by Awesome Again

Color: Chestnut

Running Style: Closer

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: Though he has only one win to his credit, Keen Ice was most recently seen finishing third to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes, and his two other third-place efforts were also in graded stakes. Trainer Dale Romans and owner Donegal racing will be looking for their first win in the race.

7. Top Clearance (30-1)

Jockey: Abel Castellano Jr.

Trainer: Wayne Catalano

Owner: Gary and Mary West

Career Record:  4 starts - 2 wins, 2 seconds, 0 thirds

Career Earnings:  $72,520

Earnings Per Start: $18,130

Pedigree: Majestic Warrior – Sweet Beat, by Tiznow

Color: Bay

Running Style: Closer

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: Top Clearance has won two races in a row but this is his first start again stakes competition. The Gary and Mary West homebred is based at Monmouth Park and has the advantage of training over the track daily.

8. Dontbetwithbruno (30-1)

Jockey: TBD

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owner: Repole Stable

Career Record: 8 starts - 2 wins, 3 second, 1 thirds

Career Earnings: $110,050

Earnings Per Start: $13,756

Pedigree: Tiz Wonderful – Stomping, by Dixieland Band

Color: Bay

Running Style: Stalker/closer

Notable Achievements and Interesting Facts: Like Nonna's Boy, Dontbetwithbruno is owned by Mike Repole and trained by Todd Pletcher. Also like Nonna's Boy, Dontbetwithbruno most recently ran in the Lamplighter Stakes on the Monmouth turf course, where he finished second behind his stablemate. The colt has also finished third in the Parx Derby and fourth in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes this year.


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