On August 3, 1968, closing day of the Monmouth Park summer racing season, the Monmouth Invitational Handicap race was run for the first time, with a field of eleven horses. The race was won by Balustrade, a 33-1 longshot ridden by Canadian jockey Eric Walsh in a time of 1:50, with the favorite Iron Ruler finishing fourth.
In 1981, Monmouth Park Racetrack changed the name of this event to Haskell Invitational Handicap in honor of Amory L. Haskell (1893–1966), former president and chairman of Monmouth Park. In 1997, the purse for the race was increased to $1,000,000 and the name of the event was changed to the Haskell Invitational Stakes.
Today, the race commonly known as “the Haskell Stakes” is now formally called the TVG.com Haskell, but it is still a Grade I American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds run on the dirt over a distance of 1+1⁄8 miles, held annually in July at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport. The event is a signature event at Monmouth Park during their summer racing season and a major race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds in between the U.S. Triple Crown series and the Breeders’ Cup. The event currently offers a purse of $1,000,000 and awards one of the most prestigious trophies in U.S. thoroughbred racing in the Haskell Trophy.
Image credit of 2021 Haskell start courtesy Monmouth Park Racetrack