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Excitement Builds For American Pharoah's First Race Since Winning Triple Crown

OCEANPORT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds gathered Friday morning to watch Triple Crown winner American Pharoah take a brief workout on the track in Monmouth Park.

"Oh my god, look at those ears," Donna from Long Island told 1010 WINS' Rebecca Granet. "I just love it."

The 3-year-old colt was on the track for just a few minutes and Carolyn said she only had a chance to see him through her camera lens as she snapped some pictures of the horse.

"He was too fast," she laughed.

Excitement Builds For American Pharoah's First Race Since Winning Triple Crown

As WCBS 880's Levon Putney reported, Leslie and Richard Lipstein of Brooklyn said they came to the Haskell Invitational last year and could not miss seeing the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

"I gave up the beach to come here," said Leslie Lipstein.

"I came here at 7 o'clock this morning and there was 3,000 people here, just to see the horse work out," said Richard Epstein.

Excitement Builds For American Pharoah's First Start Since Winning Triple Crown

American Pharoah will be racing Sunday in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational in the small shore town of Oceanport. It will be his first start since becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner and first in 37 years.

"It's going to be a great day for racing, it's going be a great day for the people of New Jersey and I think it's going to be an even better day for the fans," park spokesman John Heims told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

The event usually draws between 35,000 and 40,000 fans, but Monmouth Park expects to see a record-breaking crowd this year.

New Jersey's racing attendance record is 53,000.

"Every indication is that we're going to eclipse that mark on Sunday," Heims said. "We've been planning for 60,000 at this race and we're not capping attendance, so however many show up are how many are going to get through the door."

Record-Breaking Attendance Expected At Haskell Invitational

Traffic on the town's road, and on Route 36, the road leading in and out of Oceanport and Monmouth Park is expected to be considerable.

The Oceanport Police Department, along with the New Jersey Department of Transportation, will be strategically opening and closing roads in town to keep things moving.

NJ TRANSIT will be providing extra train service to Monmouth Park before and after the race.

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