The morning after Triple Crown champion American Pharoah 's triumph in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 31, his Hall of Fame trainer was still marveling at the colt's accomplishment.
"He came back in great shape. He's ready to go around again," said Bob Baffert, who has now won back-to-back Classics after last year's victory with Bayern . "He really put on a show yesterday. I knew at the half-mile pole (that he would win big) from the way he was running.
"The way he was going, he just breaks other horses' hearts. The good horses do that, they just break other horses' hearts.
"Yesterday he showed the horse that he is. I know how good he is, because I've trained some really good ones. I've had others who were as fast as he is, but they couldn't sustain it. You'll never see a horse travel and ship like that and win at every track he went to, except for the Travers. His mechanics and his personality are also what set him apart. I'm glad he finally got a track record. He was ready yesterday."
The Classic was the final race for the Zayat Stable's homebred son of Pioneerof the Nile . His breeding rights were sold to Coolmore's Ashford Stud, with Ahmed Zayat retaining an interest.
The entire Zayat family was at the barn Nov. 1 visiting American Pharoah, who will remain at Keeneland until Monday.
"He's going to Ashford tomorrow morning. I will go with him to see him get settled in," said Baffert, who will be accompanied by his wife, Jill, and son, Bode. "It will be sad to say goodbye, and walking him this morning was emotional, but I don't feel like I'll be leaving him. Letting him down (from his racing career) will be easy. He's 'Mr. Chill.' We'll be coming to Ashford to see him."
After American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes presented by DraftKings (gr. I), and even after his runner-up finish in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), Baffert brought the colt out so that the large crowd of media and fans assembled could enjoy an up-close experience with the horse. He did so again Sunday morning.
"This is the best horse I've ever had in my training career," said Baffert, who notched his 12th Breeders' Cup win Saturday afternoon. "It has been a fantastic year with him. I was crying when he turned for home. I was thinking of my parents (in heaven). This horse has an angel on his back. He is a gift from God. This guy had the brilliance, the speed, and the personality. He was the perfect racehorse."
As the Zayat entourage was leaving the barn Baffert called out to Ahmed Zayat: "Find me another one."