Let the wooing begin.
The Haskell, Travers and Pacific Classic have all been named as potential destinations for American Pharoah. While Monmouth, Saratoga and Del Mar can all battle with prestige and history, other venues that want to try and entice the recently minted Triple Crown winner have to rely on creativity and…money.
The Mystic Lake Derby is currently scheduled for August 29th, carries a purse of $200,000 and is to be run a mile on the grass. According to the Star Tribune, the race would be moved to Sunday, August 30, lengthened and shifted to the dirt should American Pharoah commit. Additionally the purse money is speculated to increase to $2,000,000 should Pharoah make the trip to Shakopee.
At this point the offer is not definite and, even with the added money involved, the effort remains a long shot. Competing against the likes of Monmouth, Saratoga and Del Mar is a tall order. The Haskell, Travers and Pacific Classic are stocked with tradition, Grade I status and boast purses from $1 million – $1.25 million.
We’ll have more as the story develops.