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Monmouth Park unveils $7.3 million stakes schedule; Haskell Day gets big boost

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Maximum Security wins the 2019 Haskell Invitational after a crazy hot day at Monmouth Park

Asbury Park Press

A year ago, Monmouth Park’s meet was punctuated by Maximum Security’s impressive victory in the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Invitational, some 11 weeks after being disqualified after winning the Kentucky Derby.

This summer, it’s the Haskell Day undercard that gets some significant upgrades, as the Oceanport racetrack unveiled its stakes schedule for the 2020 meet, with some $7.3-million  up for grabs.

The Haskell, to be run on Saturday, July 18, highlights to 75th year of racing at Monmouth Park.

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The Haskell Day card, which will feature six stakes races, will see the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup get a $100,000 purse increase, up to $300,000. The Grade 3 Molly Pitcher, won by Midnight Bisou in 2019, goes from $250,000 to $300,000.

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Luis Saez rides Maximum Security across the finish line for a win in the TVG.COM Haskell Invitational race during Haskell Day races at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ on July 20, 2019.  (Photo: Peter Ackerman)

A total of 63 stakes races will be contesting, including 12 graded states, led by the Grade 1 Haskell and United Nations Stakes, during the 56-day meet, which gets underway on May 2, Kentucky Derby Day.

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The Grade 3 Iselin will now be worth $200,000, while the Miss Liberty, Jersey Derby and Jersey Shore Stakes each increase to $100,000.

The meet will once again be punctuated by “bundled” stakes day, beginning on May 23 when the Grade 3 $150,000 Monmouth Stakes, the Grade 3 $150,000 Salvatore Mile headline a card featuring four stakes races.

On June 20, the $300,000 United Nations, the Iselin, the Grade 3 $150,000 Eatontown Stakes and the $100,000 Lady’s Secret will be contested.

In addition to Haskell Day, the Sept. 12 card will feature five stakes races totaling $500,000.

The 18th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival, with three stakes events, will be renewed on Aug. 30, with the $100,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap headlining that card.

Total purses for stakes races increases $200,000 from a year ago.

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