American Pharoah to continue racing, headed for Breeders’ Cup Classic
It was a great day for both Tom Brady and fans of American Pharoah on Thursday.
The Super Bowl champ had his suspension nullified and the Triple Crown champ will continue racing, according to his owner, Ahmed Zayat.
"I have discussed all aspects of American Pharoah’s race last Saturday in the Travers — and his condition since the race — with our whole team, and have decided American Pharoah deserves another chance, so we are pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Classic," Zayat said in a statement released to ESPN.com and the Daily Racing Form.
The announcement ended days of speculation about the future of American Pharoah after he finished in second place in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
In the immediate aftermath of the race, Zayat had indicated he was considering retiring the colt if he was tailing off.
"I am very confident in my decision," Zayat said in his statement. "Not a moment has gone by since the race on Saturday when I have not thought about this decision. My initial concern right after the race was about American Pharoah’s condition, because he did not run his ‘A’ race. He has come out of the race in great shape. And after examining all the evidence and talking it over with our team — [trainer] Bob Baffert, my son Justin [racing manager for Zayat Stables], [assistant trainer] Jimmy Barnes, and [jockey] Victor Espinoza — I believe there were a combination of factors that prevented American Pharoah from running his absolute best on Saturday. I have every confidence that he can run to his best again, and he deserves the chance to do so."
What’s next? American Pharoah will be pointed for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Halloween at Keeneland.
There, he figures to have a chance to avenge his Travers loss to Keen Ice, as well as face a stellar field that will feature Beholder, a mare who absolutely dusted the boys in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.