With hot temperatures and close decisions the 52nd Haskell Invitational was one of the most intense showings of horse racing in the past several years. Despite many road blocks due to extreme heat in the forecast the Haskell stayed on, with a few changes.
First, safety and hydration was the number one priority for Monmouth Park as all of the horses were being closely observed with consistent periods of cooling. The horses were looked over by Monmouth Park’s team of knowledgeable trainers and vets who helped the horses prepare. Each horse was watered down with mist and fans as well as being iced to add to their comfort.
The first race of the day at noon went off on schedule however after consideration Monmouth Park pushed back the times and canceled a handful of races so the majority of the competing horse could just focus on staying cool. There were five races left for the day with the first race starting in the late hours of 6pm.
The hot weather had rapidly consumed a majority of the park’s spectators who left and returned for the big races later in the day. The Haskell was the 12th race but was replaced in to the fifth race at 8:05pm and it would be the last race of the day.
The horses were being prepped for racing but Joevia was scratched early in the day taking him off the chart. The big favorite amongst fans was Maximum Security who was famous for winning the 2019 Kentucky Derby to only be disqualified after a replay noticed the horse giving an aggressive bump.
Another large favorite for the day was Mucho Gusto who was trained by the legendary trainer Bob Baffert who alone has eight Haskell wins and trained the triple crown king American Pharoh.
The horse were lined up in the gate to begin the running of the Haskell. They left with furious surge of energy. Each horse was neck and neck without either one slowing down. As they wrapped around towards the finish it was clear that Maximum Security had the upper hand over Mucho Gusto who was trailing less then a body length away.
That was it Maximum Security had passed the finish line and was ready to recieve his victory. However there was an inquiry placed against the Colt that showed the horse cut in front of Mucho Gusto but thankfully for Maximum Security it was nothing major.
Maximum security had won the Haskell Invitational!
Though the heat was at new peak for New Jersey Monmouth Park showed it was well equipped to handle all scenarios as they went the entire day without any major problems. Many of the horse were watered immediately after racing with each one getting the proper and humane treatment you would see with any other athlete.
The races that were cancelled were postponed till friday were they will all race in hopefully a lighter climate. Anyone who was at Monmouth Park was given a stamp for reentry or a coupon for another time if they decided to leave before the race.
Monmouth Park showed everyone in the horse racing community that they are ready for anything at any moment. The park will be having many more events throughout the summer, check out our summer calendar to see the event list.