The Haskell Stakes, named in honor of the late Amory L. Haskell, a former president and chairman of the Monmouth Park Jockey Club, first galloped onto the racing scene in 1968. Since then, it has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar, drawing top-notch horses, passionate spectators, and unforgettable drama year after year.
Amory L. Haskell, vice president in charge of General Motors' export division after serving in the Navy during World War I, led a successful fight in 1939 to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in New Jersey. Although World War II delayed construction of a new facility, it opened in 1946.
The Haskell Stakes has witnessed its fair share of legendary horses etching their names into the annals of racing history. From breathtaking displays of speed to heart-stopping comebacks, these champions have left their hoofprints on the hallowed grounds of Monmouth Park.
One of the most iconic moments in Haskell Stakes history came in 1975 when the mighty filly, Ruffian, set the track ablaze with her electrifying performance. Despite an injury during the race, she displayed her unparalleled determination and captured the hearts of racing enthusiasts worldwide.
The track on the Jersey Shore has had more ups and downs than the stock market since opening on July 4, 1870. By 1890, it was completely rebuilt. But the following year, Monmouth's meeting was moved to Jerome Park in New York because of repressive legislation against gambling. Then the track was shuttered for more than half a century.
In 1968, Monmouth directors honored his memory with the Haskell Handicap for older horses. In 1981, the race was made an invitation-only stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles with a purse of $200,000.