TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPION AMERICAN PHAROAH BREEZES HALF MILE AT SANTA ANITA IN 49.80; BAFFERT CHARGE HAS FIRST WORK SINCE SECOND-PLACE RUN IN GRADE I TRAVERS AUG. 29–WITH $5 MILLION BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC NEXT UP

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2015)–Under the watchful eye of trainer Bob Baffert, Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah, with jockey Martin Garcia up, breezed a half mile this morning at Santa Anita in 49.80–his first official work since running second in the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 29.

Based at Santa Anita last fall, winter and early spring, the Ahmed Zayat homebred colt by Pioneerof the Nile won the final start of his 2-year-old campaign, the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita a year ago and was subsequently named Eclipse Champion 2-year-old.

America’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, American Pharoah returned to Santa Anita following victory in the Belmont Stakes June 6 and was then vanned to Del Mar in mid-July in advance of an emphatic 2 ¼ length win in the Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2. Subsequent to that, he was returned to Del Mar and prepared for the prestigious Travers.

Along with the rest of Baffert’s stable, American Pharoah returned yet again to The Great Race Place early on Sept. 10 and has trained over the main track each day since as Baffert readies him for his career finale, and a likely showdown with superstar mare Beholder, in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31.