American Pharoah may be more than ready to make his 3-year-old debut.
The Zayat Stables-owned son of Pioneerof the Nile worked an eye-catching seven furlongs in 1:23 4/5 Feb. 27 at Santa Anita Park in preparation for the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14 at Oaklawn Park.
"He was very impressive," trainer Bob Baffert said. "He got a little tired last week when we worked him at (six furlongs), but week by week, he keeps getting stronger.
The champion 2-year-old male of 2014 hasn't raced since a 3 1/4-length victory in the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 because of a foot bruise, but his time Friday morning was the fastest workout for that distance at Santa Anita since stablemate Dortmund covered the seven furlongs in 1:23 2/5 Jan. 21. Dortmund also ran seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 Feb. 26.
"I just told (jockey Martin Garcia) to cruise him around," Baffert said. "He did it the right way. I wasn't surprised about it. That's just him. He's shown signs of brilliance in the past."
Other notable 3-year-olds who worked Friday morning include Firing Line (five furlongs, :59 3/5), Prospect Park (five furlongs, 1:01 2/5), Lord Nelson (six furlongs, 1:13), Pain and Misery (1:00 4/5), and Bolo (six furlongs, 1:13 4/5).