Zayat Stables' Triple Crown champion American Pharoah turned in his first breeze since winning the Aug. 2 William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) when he went four furlongs in :47 3/5 Aug. 16 at Del Mar.
The homebred 3-year-old Pioneerof the Nile colt had jockey Martin Garcia in the irons, as is the usual routine for his workouts, and enjoyed a track closed between 7:45-7:50 a.m. for all but him and horses training for the Pacific Classic (gr. I). An estimated crowd of 800 people were on hand to watch his strong move, according to the Del Mar public relations department.
THall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and owner Ahmed Zayat and his family also monitored the work from the grandstand and came away pleased.
"He went nice; like he always does," Baffert said. "I think this empty track today allowed him to relax some. When he's got horses all around him, he gets keyed up."
American Pharoah came onto the track at approximately 7:45 with Baffert assistant Jim Barnes alongside on his stable pony. They backtracked to the finish line, then jogged to just past the six-furlong pole. American Pharoah galloped up to the half mile marker, then went into work mode, coming down the stretch to applause and cheers from the crowd.
Official split times from the clockers were :12 2/5, :24 3/5, :35 4/5, and :59 4/5 with a 1:13 3/5 gallop out.
Head clocker John Malone noted the horse was well within himself for the move.
"It went super good," Garcia said back at the stable area. "Bob just told me to work him like we usually do and make sure we get a little bit out of it. He was just cruising. It's like he's still getting better and better. This horse is unbelievable."
Last time out American Pharoah won the Haskell by 2 1/4 lengths under wraps from regular rider Victor Espinoza. It was his first start since taking the June 6 Belmont Stakes presented by DraftKings (gr. I) and becoming the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown.
Though his connections have not officially confirmed American Pharoah will start in the Aug. 29 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, Baffert said he will try to make the race as long as the colt continues to thrive in his training regimen. American Pharoah is scheduled to work again in seven days, after which Baffert will decide if he will run in the Travers.
It is expected American Pharoah will race once more before starting in the Oct. 31 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Keeneland. He will retire to Ashford Stud near Lexington at the end of his racing career.