(Edited press release)
The centerpiece of Monmouth’s meeting each year is the $1 million Haskell Invitational Presented by Vonage (gr. I), which this year will be renewed Aug. 3.
The race’s position on the calendar--nine weeks after the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and three weeks before the Travers Stakes (gr. I)--means it marks the start of the second half of the championship 3-year-old season.
Monmouth also offers a bonus incentive that makes it even more attractive to Triple Crown participants. The owner and the trainer of any horse who wins a leg of the Triple Crown receives $25,000 each for each race won in the series.
If Big Brown, who has already won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes, completes the Triple Crown in the Belmont, his owners and trainer would each receive a $75,000 bonus if the horse runs in the Haskell.
“Obviously you always want to attract horses with Triple Crown races on their resumes,” said Robert J. Kulina, vice president of racing and general manager of Monmouth Park. “The Haskell has stamped itself as the next logical step following the Triple Crown, the beginning of the second half of the season and a target race for horses looking at year-end honors.”
Recent champions that have competed in the Haskell include Point Given, War Emblem, Funny Cide and last year’s Horse of the Year, Curlin.