This past June at Belmont Park, American Pharoah became the 12th ever Triple Crown Winner of Thoroughbred Racing, ending a 37-year drought for one of the most challenging feats in all of sports. But before the historic horse gets a well-deserved retirement, he has one more race to cement his legacy: The Breeder’s Cup Classic.
In winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in a five-week span, the sensational horse became joined the ranks of Secretariat and Seattle Slew in achieving the coveted Triple Crown.
But despite one of the most dominating performances in the Belmont in the race’s 140-year history, his connections planned for even more greatness.
Rather than putting American Pharoah out to stud, owner Ahmed Zayat and trainer Bob Baffert decided to keep the living legend in the public eye, parading him through the biggest tracks in the United States and racing him at the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
After winning the Haskell with ease, Zayat and Baffert entered American Pharoah into the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, where he narrowly lost to Keen Ice.
But the horse’s connections decided rather than retire him on a low note, to give him a shot at immortality in the Breeder’s Cup Classic: the $5 million world championship of horse racing against the best talents in the entire world.
Should American Pharoah overcome the likes of Keen Ice, his arch-rival Frosted, the 2014 Belmont winner Tonalist and a crop of other elite horse, he will become the first horse in history to win the Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Cup, achieving a feat many are calling “The Grand Slam.”
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