OCEANPORT, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Triple Crown winner American Pharoah had another easy gallop Saturday morning at Monmouth Park, his final serious exercise before the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational.
The overwhelming 1-5 favorite for the race on Sunday was on the track shortly after 7:30 a.m. He slowly jogged from the barn area to the finish line, giving fans who lined the rail a good look at the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
He then turned toward the inside fence for a one-mile gallop under clear skies and a cooling breeze rippling off the nearby ocean
Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said "the track was good, the weather was good," and a lot of fans came out to see him. He said the horse "looked awesome out on the track. We couldn't be happier."
Oceanport Councilman Joseph Irace says American Pharoah has been creating a buzz.
"Biggest day of the year. Biggest day of the season and probably the biggest day ever for the borough," Irace said. "Everybody is excited. The town is excited."
And that excitement translates into huge economic impact, WCBS 880's Jim Smith reports.
Thousands Expected To Attend Haskell Invitational To See American Pharoah
"All the local hotels around here are booked," Irace explained. "The restaurants were packed last night. The restaurants will be packed again."
With more than 60,000 people expected at the track, Irace says to be prepared for traffic. But says officials at the local county and state level have all been coordinatin to keep things moving. The silver lining is that it shows what horse racing can bring.
"It's showing a renewed passion for horse racing and we hope the people out in Trenton take a look at it," Irace said. "The politicians out there."
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