The “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win And You’re In – Presented By Lane’s End Farm” Race Will Broadcast From Monmouth Park
NEW YORK (July 30, 2015) – American Pharoah, Thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner, is set to return to the track this Sunday, August 2, at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., in the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational at 5 p.m. ET on NBC. American Pharoah will begin his campaign to become horse racing’s first Grand Slam winner at the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by Lane’s End Farm” race on Sunday.
The William Hill Haskell, run at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds, will award the winner an automatic berth into the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Sunday’s show is the fourth of 10 telecasts under the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In Series” banner of automatic qualifying races leading into the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Oct. 30-Oct. 31, which will be televised live on NBCSN and NBC from Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. Lane’s End Farm of Versailles, Kentucky, has been named the presenting sponsor of the television series beginning with this weekend’s broadcast.
NBC’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on Sunday features host Tom Hammond, analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and five-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, reporters Donna Brothers and Kenny Rice, analyst/handicapper Eddie Olczyk, and race caller Larry Collmus. Daily Racing Form’s Matt Bernier will also serve as handicapper.
“I can’t wait to see American Pharoah run in the Haskell at Monmouth Park on Sunday,” said Bailey. “It appears that he is training brilliantly in California, and has trainer Bob Baffert brimming with confidence. I believe that he will pick up where he left off in the Belmont Stakes, and the atmosphere should be electric at the Jersey Shore on Sunday afternoon.”
American Pharoah, owned by Zayat Stables and trained by Bob Baffert, will be an overwhelming favorite on Sunday as he faces seven rivals in his first start since capturing the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park by 5 ½ lengths in his majestic Triple Crown sweep. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, American Pharoah, undefeated in all five starts this year, shipped into Monmouth from Del Mar on Wednesday and galloped over the track for the first time on Thursday morning. He was listed as the 1/5 favorite on the morning line and will break for post position No. 4.
American Pharoah will go to stud at the end of this season, and the connections have indicated that the son of Pioneerof the Nile will have just three more races with the Breeders’ Cup Classic as the finale. The Haskell begins American Pharoah’s quest to become the first horse ever to racing’s Grand Slam of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Among the challengers to American Pharoah is the Todd Pletcher-trained Competitive Edge. A son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, Competitive Edge has won four of his five career starts, including last year’s Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga and, in 2015, the Pat Day Stakes at Churchill Downs. He will try to rebound Saturday after suffering his first career defeat off a sixth-place finish in the Woody Stephens Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day. Ralph Evans and WinStar Farm’s Upstart, third in last year’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, finished a close second in the Florida Derby earlier this year but finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby. Donegal Racing’s Keen Ice comes into the Haskell following a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes after finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Dale Romans. Mr. Jordan, winner of the June 21 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth, for trainer by Eddie Plesa, has also been entered.
As an added element to the racing action, fans can also get into the excitement of the William Hill Haskell, which offers them the chance to correctly select the exact order of finish of the race and win a trip the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The game is free to enter and play, and fans can register and submit their picks for each race online at: http://www.milliondollarfinish.com/. The fantasy player with the highest score for each designated race will win a once-in-a-lifetime VIP trip for two to the sold-out 2015 Breeders’ Cup. Along with the 10 chances to win during the Challenge Series, fans can enter for a shot at the ultimate prize of $1 million during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships by predicting the correct order for the top 10 finishers in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will air on Saturday, October 31 on NBC.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, New York Racing Association, Breeders’ Cup, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 grade I races and purses totaling $26 million, will be held October 30-Oct. 31 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
No purchase necessary to enter or win. The Promotion registration period begins on or about April 28, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. ET and ends on October 31, 2015 at 5:40 p.m. ET. Promotion is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C., who are 18 years of age or older. See Official Rules at www.MillionDollarFinish.com/rules for exact registration times for each race, additional eligibility restrictions, prize descriptions/restrictions/ARVs and complete details. Void where prohibited. PROMOTION IS DEVISED AS A NON-GAMBLING PROMOTION and is intended solely for entertainment purposes. Promotion is sponsored by Breeders’ Cup Limited. Breeders’ Cup Limited is the sole sponsor of the Promotion. NBC Sports and NBCUniversal Media, LLC are not sponsors of the Promotion and are not associated with the administration of the Promotion in any way. Entrants are providing information to sponsors and not to NBC Sports and NBCUniversal Media, LLC.