The eyes of the horse racing world will be on Oceanport, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon, where the only Triple Crown winner that many in our generation have ever seen will be back on the track once again.
American Pharoah will once again be competing for the first time as a Triple Crown champion at the Haskell Invitational.
American Pharoah is obviously going to be the odds-on favorite to win any race he enters at this point, and though the field isn't quite set around him, there shouldn't be any challengers.
Most of this projected field has already failed against American Pharoah, many multiple times. Upstart could be back if he is ultimately entered here instead of in the Jim Dandy Stakes, as could Competitive Edge.
Keen Ice and War Story are also amongst the Triple Crown ponies, while the newcomers include Mr. Jordan and Top Clearance, neither of which are considered to be legitimate threats to win this Grade 1 race.
Mr. Jordan though, is coming off of a comfortable win at the Pegasus Stakes on this track, and the fact that he’s already won here is a big plus from our standpoint. Whether he has the talent to compete in a Grade 1 race though, is up for serious discussion.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
Who else could we follow here than American Pharoah? The colt not only won the Triple Crown in incredibly impressive fashion, but he also has been training faster and stronger than any other colt in the world.
Since the Belmont Stakes, he ran six furlongs in 1:11 flat in training. That's a stunning three seconds faster than any other three-year old has run since June at six furlongs.
American Pharoah will very likely sit in a stalking position in this race, though he might also get back to his more traditional front-running style as well. Either way, there's no doubt that American Pharoah will end up being the horse of choice for most of the bettors.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
Is there really any other horse worth betting on right now? Keen Ice finished third in the Belmont Stakes and was a strong finisher at 1 1/2 miles. This race is significantly shorter at 1 1/8 miles, but for our money, the best breeding in this field belongs to Keen Ice, who is the son of Curlin.
Keen Ice was also the seventh place finisher in the Kentucky Derby in spite of the fact that he was the only colt who came out of Louisiana to be successful in any way, shape or form.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Upstart is a lot better than his last race suggests at the Kentucky Derby when he finished dead last, and Keen Ice might be a late bloomer.
Still, American Pharoah is the best horse in the world right now, and it would be stunning if he was beaten by anyone. As long as Victor Espinoza keeps American Pharoah in check and he doesn't get out of control, he should be back in the winners' circle in another Grade 1 race, making him the seventh race in horse racing history to win their next race after winning the Triple Crown.
Play American Pharoah to win the Haskell Invitational
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