On a pleasantly warm June night that Racing Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert called "magical," Triple Crown winner American Pharoah paraded before thousands of adoring fans in the Churchill Downs paddock.
American Pharoah is scheduled to jog at Churchill Downs June 12, around 6:45 a.m. EDT, in his first appearance on the track since sealing the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes presented by DraftKings (gr. I).
In significant acts of generosity, trainer Bob Baffert and his wife, Jill, along with jockey Victor Espinoza, announced they will donate to several charities following American Pharoah's Triple Crown triumph.
American Pharoah continued his flawless preparations for the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in his second day over the track at Belmont Park, powering through a stellar gallop and then schooling calmly in the paddock.
Thoroughbred racing once again pinned hopes and dreams upon the latest Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner heading into the Belmont. Finally, American Pharoah delivered, rolling to victory and becoming the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner American Pharoah returned to the Churchill Downs racetrack May 28 for a clockwise jog once around the mile oval.
A probable field of seven is now expected for the Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I) after Todd Pletcher announced May 12 he will not have an entrant in the May 16 race that is the second leg of racing's Triple Crown.
The journey of a lifetime is often measured by the amount of obstacles one must overcome, and that is why American Pharoah's thrilling victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) brought such a wave of raw emotion.
Owner Ahmed Zayat said El Kabeir did not go to the track at Churchill Downs the morning of May 1 because he took a couple of bad steps and was not sound but has not been scratched out of the Kentucky Derby.
While Zayat Stables plans to enter three horses in Saturday's Kentucky Derby including grade II winner El Kabeir, multiple grade I-placed Mr. Z, the homebred American Pharoah is closest to his owner's heart.
The top three finishers from the April 11 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, including runaway winner American Pharoah, emerged from the 1 1/8-mile race in good order, their connections said April 12.
"Since he ran at Churchill, he really started to change... it's amazing how this horse has kept going forward, while braving the brutal winter we had," Tonja Terranova said of Wood Memorial contender El Kabeir.