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Tuning up for American Pharoah’s next race in the Haskell

Richard Rosenblatt Associated Press

The race, date and place are set for American Pharoah’s next start: the Haskell Invitational, Aug. 2, Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey.

Perhaps the coolest part of Thursday’s announcement involves Bruce Springsteen possibly performing at the track just a few furlongs from his hometown of Freehold.

“I want to approach Bruce Springsteen about coming to the track; he’s a Jersey guy,” says Ahmed Zayat, the owner of racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. “Monmouth is a beach town, geared to a younger crowd. It’s a party. It’s festive. I think there’s more spark (for the sport) by coming here.”

Haskell tradition has Springsteen’s “‘Born to Run” anthem played over the sound system as the horses enter the track before the race. To maybe have The Boss play live? Nice touch.

• With or without Springsteen, Monmouth Park is anticipating a record crowd for American Pharoah’s show. All 13,000 reserved seats were sold a few weeks ago, and the current mark stands at 53,638, when 2003 Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide showed up. Track officials are planning all sorts of concerts, contests and giveaways for the race.

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