The Haskell Invitational was inaugurated in 1968 in memory of Monmouth Park’s former president, Armory L. Haskell. Armory Haskell lobbied to legalize pari-mutuel wagering for both Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries in the 40s. He helped re-open Monmouth Park in 1946 after it’s 53-year hiatus.
The race became an invitational handicap for three-year olds in 1981. Today, the top three-year olds in the country are invited to participate in the Haskell.
Majestic Light (1976) and Bet Twice (1987) tied the time for the fastest Haskell ever. Both completed the race in 1:47.00.
In 1995, Serena’s Song became the first filly to win the Haskell. Rachel Alexandra became the second filly to win the Haskell when she won the race in 2009. No filly has won the race since.
Four horses have won the Haskell Invitational and then went on to sire another winner: Majestic Light (1976) sired Wavering Monarch (1982), Skip Trial (1985) sired Skip Away (1996), Forty Niner (1988) sired Coronado’s Quest (1998), and Point Given (2001) sired Coil (2011).
Bob Baffert has trained eight horses to victory in the Haskell Invitational. He trained three consecutive winners from 2010-2012 (Lookin At Lucky, Coil, Paynter).
The 2015 Haskell Invitational had the highest purse in the race’s history. $1,750,000 was awarded to the top finishers as it was American Pharoah’s first race since winning the Triple Crown.
American Pharoah’s Haskell also attracted a record crowd of 60,983 to Monmouth Park.
Verrazano’s 9 ¾ length romp in the 2013 Haskell is the race’s largest winning margin.
11 horses have won the Haskell Invitational on their way to Championship honors (Champion Three-Year Old Colt/Filly and Horse of the Year). They are: Wajima, Holy Bull, Skip Away, Point Given, War Emblem, Big Brown, Lookin at Lucky, Serena’s Song, Rachel Alexandra, American Pharoah, and Maximum Security.
[Video: Watch American Pharaoh win the Haskell Invitational]
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