American Pharoah sharp in five-furlong drill at Santa Anita
American Pharoah recorded what will likely end up being his final California workout Oct. 3 at Santa Anita Park, covering five furlongs in :59 4/5 according to the track’s clockers.
Out with the first group of workers in the morning at 6:30 a.m. PDT, the Triple Crown winner ran six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 according to trainer Bob Baffert’s stopwatch and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25 4/5.
"He went nice, but he always does," Baffert said of the drill in preparation for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Oct. 31. "We’ve never seen him work bad. I guess the day we do, that’s it."
A relatively large number of fans were out early to see the champ, with smartphones held up to document his move, along with several interested trainers. As he crossed the finish line, trainer Carla Gaines commented, "God, he looks good."
Baffert wouldn’t say whether American Pharoah’s breeze Saturday would be his last on the West Coast, and has not indicated when he might ship Zayat Stables’ homebred Pioneerof the Nile colt.
"We don’t know yet," Baffert said. "We’re day-to-day with him."
The move was American Pharoah’s third work since his runner-up finish in the Aug. 29 Travers Stakes; he breezed an easy half in :49 4/5 Sept. 21, and went five furlongs in 1:00 Sept. 27.
As Baffert made his way down from the grandstand to the track Saturday, he had his normal post-work check-in with American Pharoah’s regular workout rider, Martin Garcia.
"He needed that," Garcia said.
"Ready to get back to work," Baffert responded.