Haskell Invitational Recap: American Pharoah Dominates Again

By Victoria Barnett August 03, 2015

American Pharoah had nothing to prove on Sunday as he raced in front of a crowd of 60,983 at the third Breeders’ Cup Classic Challenge Series race. The Triple Crown™ winner dominated the Haskell Invitational and recorded a 2 ¼ length victory over Keen Ice. As if being the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown™ wasn’t enough, American Pharoah zoomed past competitors in the Haskell in 1:47.4.

There’s no denying that what this horse does is simply breathtaking. Have you ever seen a horse with such precision, talent and endurance? He makes everything look effortless.  

After winning the Triple Crown™, American Pharoah’s return was highly anticipated, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. This 10-1 favorite broke well from the No. 4 spot, but he didn’t instantly take the lead. Espinoza kept American Pharoah in second as Competitive Edge stood out in front. But once he reached the far turn, American Pharoah took command and came out on top once again.

"It was pretty easy," said Espinoza. "For me the key was just coming out of there running. I knew that other horse would want to take the lead, so I sat back just a little bit. I never like to go head and head with another horse, so I sat back maybe half a length behind. He did everything by himself. It was pretty easy, pretty impressive."

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This eighth straight victory for American Pharoah earns him an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this October. Until then, the Triple Crown winner has several options for his next race including the Travers Stakes at Saratoga or the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. Guess we will just have to wait and see where he goes next!

Watch the Haskell Invitational below!

How the Breeders’ Cup® Works

There are a few different ways to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup. The first is by winning a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series consists of 78 stakes races. Winning one of these races automatically earns you entry into the corresponding Breeders’ Cup Championship race and also waives entry and starting fees.

There is a total of six challenge races for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the third of which was the Haskell Invitational. The next Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic will be The Whitney at Saratoga on August 8. 

The second way to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup is based on a points system, where horses are ranked based on their performance in major races during the year. Points are awarded based on the race quality and then by win, place and show (first, second and third place finishes). Take a look at the scale below:





Grade 1




Grade 2




Grade 3




The third way to gain entry to the Breeders’ Cup is to be selected by a panel of experts. For each Breeders’ Cup Championship race, there are a maximum of 14 horses selected. Seven of those horses qualify through Challenge races or the points system. Seven are selected by experts. The reasoning for this method of qualifying is to ensure the highest quality of competition for each of the races.

Attend the 2015 Breeders’ Cup®

American Pharoah will join Hard Aces and Noble Bird in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this October, and we know you don’t want to miss it!

With an Official Ticket Package direct from Breeders’ Cup and QuintEvents, you can be there to witness the action! Get an unbeatable experience that includes tickets, hospitality, exclusive insider extras and much more. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to head to the heart of the Bluegrass State in October and see some of the best horses compete at the 2015 Breeders’ Cup!

Secure Your Spot at the 2015 Breeders' Cup!