What’s Next for American Pharoah?

It took 37 years for American Pharoah to break the drought of Triple Crown winners. Now, fresh off an easy victory in the William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park, the logical question is where he will he race next?

American Pharoah is being pointed to the Breeder’s Cup Classic at Keeneland on October 31, 2015 where he can cement his legacy by conquering another tough field of competitors before being retired to stud. He likely has one more race between the victory in the Haskell and Classic, and a number of tracks are sweetening the purse hoping to have the biggest attraction in horse racing make an appearance on his victory tour.

Following American Pharoah’s Triple Crown completing win in the Belmont Stakes, the horse’s connections took American Pharoah on a victory tour which included an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. American Pharoah was also was made available to the public at Churchill Downs as well as Santa Anita Park and Del Mar racetrack where he worked out for the public.

Possible races for American Pharoah are:

  • TVG Pacific Classic – Del Mar (August 22)
  • Travers Stakes – Saratoga (August 29)
  • Pennsylvania Derby – PARX (September 19)
  • Awesome Again – Santa Anita Park (September 26)
  • Jockey Club Gold Cup – Belmont Park (October 3)

The most logical stop would be the Pennsylvania Derby which is 7 weeks after the Haskell and 6 weeks before the Breeder’s Cup Classic. This is the race that American Pharoah’s trainer, Bob Baffert, used to prep Bayern before his win in last year’s Breeder’s Cup Classic.

American Pharoah’s owner, Ahmed Zayat, made it clear following the Haskell that he would like American Pharoah to run the Travers Stakes at Saratoga the last Saturday in August, but hopefully, as an owner, he will defer the decision to his trainer and the horse.

Both the Travers, as well as the Pennsylvania Derby, have offered to increase the purse of their race to entice an appearance by American Pharoah, but neither Zayat, nor Baffert, have any reason to make a financial decision when it comes to American Pharoah’s next race. Zayat has already secured a hefty stud fee from Coolmore Ashford Stud, to whom he sold a majority of the breeding rights to prior to American Pharoah’s Triple Crown run. Current speculation puts his stud fee between $175,000-$200,000. That amount would place the fee near the very top of the spectrum as only three other horses (Tapit, War Front and Medaglia d’Oro) currently stand for more than $100,000.

Baffert may want to return American Pharoah to California, where he started his racing career, and an appearance in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita Park is not out of the question. Since the TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar is only three weeks after the Haskell victory, it would not allow for adequate rest for the champ.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park will be run only four weeks before the Breeder’s Cup Classic and would not allow the optimum prep time for what should be the toughest race of American Pharoah’s career.

Where ever American Pharoah runs next, expect him to dominate his competition as he has since starting his run last fall in the Del Mar Futurity.

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