Tuesday, August 4, 2015
American Pharoah is coming to Saratoga
If he runs in the Mid-Summer Derby, American Pharoah would be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, bidding to join Whirlaway as the only horse to have victories in the Triple Crown and the Travers Stakes in their career.
Whirlaway accomplished that feat in 1941.
The New York Racing Association, expecting a boost in attendance and handle because of the appearance, offered to boost the purse of the Travers Stakes to $1.6 Million Dollars if American Pharoah were to run, up $350,000 from its scheduled purse of $1.25 Million.
The Travers, the centerpiece of the Saratoga Race Course meet, is traditionally known as the Mid-Summer Derby, and commonly is the final major three year old stakes before owners race against older horses in preparation for the Breeders' Cup. It is also NYRA's most attended non-giveaway day at Saratoga, and second overall only to the Belmont Stakes in June.