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5,000 fans show up to see American Pharoah before Haskell Invitational

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah had an enthusiastic rooting section as he galloped Friday morning in preparation for the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational. Monmouth Park built a "Pharoah Fan Fest" around the colt's appearance in the race Sunday. The first event was a free open house, which drew an estimated 5,000 fans on a warm, sunny morning to watch American Pharoah prepare for his first start since the Belmont Stakes in early June. He won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

More horse racing: Jockey Sheldon Russell returned to the saddle at Laurel Park after missing nearly three months with multiple punctures in his lungs resulting from broken ribs suffered in a fall April 25 at Pimlico Race Course. Russell, who earned his 1,000th career victory this year and was the leading rider at all three Maryland meets in 2011, finished third in his first race back aboard Another Seven in the fourth race during Laurel's twilight program.

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NFL: After a meeting with Washington Redskins officials Thursday, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Junior Galette signed a one-year deal to join the team, his agent and the team announced. Galette, whom the Saints released Monday after a tumultuous year, signed for the league minimum of $745,000. The Saints still owe Galette roughly $18 million, which is the guaranteed portion of the four-year, $41 million contract extension New Orleans gave him Sept. 3, 2014. … A year after he received a citation for possession of marijuana on the final night of training camp, Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland has received a one-game suspension from the NFL.

Baseball: Double-A Bowie will be giving away a "Captain Manny" bobblehead in honor of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Aug. 9 as part of their Pirates & Ninjas Day promotion at Prince George's Stadium. According to a release, the first 1,000 "landlubbers" ages 13 and up will receive the "bobbling pirate-themed rendition" of the former Baysox shortstop. Machado played 109 games with the Baysox in 2012, hitting .266 with 26 doubles, 11 home runs and 59 RBIs.

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