AMERICAN PHAROAH REJECTS PARX’S CASH, WILL DASH AT SARATOGA!

By Harry Allison

Philly’s Parx Casino showed American Pharoah the money and the Triple Crown winner’s owner instead chose tradition.

Fresh off American Pharoah’s easy victory in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Sunday, owner Ahmed Zayat said Tuesday the Triple Crown winner would run next in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 29.

“I have made it very clear that I want to go to the Travers,” Zayat said via bloodhorse.com. “We are motivated by what defines his legacy. If it’s up to me, it would be the Travers. I have made my desires known to my trainer. He knows what I want.”

The New York Racing Association announced it would raise the Travers purse to $1.6 million if American Pharoah would run.

“I was very surprised that Saratoga raised their purse,” Zayat said. “I have not asked anybody for a nickel. I had zero financial discussions with them. The purse raise came as a surprise to me.

“If it were about the money, we would be going to the Pennsylvania Derby because they are offering appearance fees [$100,000] to (trainer) Bob (Baffert) and I,” Zayat said.

American Pharoah is expected to make one more start before the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31. After that, he will be retired to Ashford Stud.

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