Zayat: American Pharoah’s future to be announced soon
NEW YORK — Decision day may be at hand for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
In a Twitter posting Wednesday, owner Ahmed Zayat said he and his family recently had a four-hour meeting with trainer Bob Baffert, saying that they "analyzed every aspect of AP future" and "I learned a lot will get it one more day."
After American Pharoah was beaten in the Travers Stakes by Keen Ice on Saturday, Zayat said his "gut feeling right now, without being outspoken, is to retire."
The plan before the race was a final run in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 31 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, then off to the breeding shed at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud a few miles down the road. The loss after eight straight brilliant victories was a tough one and may have been an indication that the time to retire the horse is sooner than later.
American Pharoah was sent back to Baffert’s home base at Del Mar in California on Monday, and has now traveled about 20,000 miles by air and horse van. The 3-year-old bay colt is scheduled to be paraded in front of the crowd this weekend.
It could be the final time the public gets a glimpse of the first horse in 37 years to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah easily won the Haskell Invitational on Aug. 2 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey, but four weeks later he was unable to maintain his high energy level in the final strides of the Travers at Saratoga Race Course.
The price Coolmore paid for breeding rights is not known, but is likely in the tens of millions. With American Pharoah still racing, the stud fee has not been announced.