LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Triple Crown winner American Pharoah remained in the barn Wednesday as heavy rain disrupted training for the Breeders’ Cup this weekend at Keeneland.
The $5 million Classic on Saturday will be American Pharoah’s final race before retirement to a new career as a stallion at a breeding farm.
Trainer Bob Baffert planned to send American Pharoah to the track for light exercise early Wednesday after arriving the day before from his home base in Southern California. The 6-to-5 favorite in the Classic is expected to hit the track Thursday when the weather improves.
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Owner Ahmed Zayat said on Twitter. ”Will go to track tomorrow!”
No rain is predicted for Friday, the start of the two-day Breeders’ Cup, and only a 20 percent chance of showers on Saturday.
American Pharoah stayed warm and dry on Wednesday, strolling several times around the stalls in the barn enclosure with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez in the saddle.
The rain also kept champion mare Beholder, the 3-1 second choice in the Classic, in the barn for a second straight morning.
Golden Horn, the 4-to-5 favorite in the $3 million Turf, avoided the softened grass course for his gallop on Wednesday. The winner of the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de’l Arc de Triomphe – two of Europe’s most prestigious races – exercised over the Keeneland’s all-weather synthetic training track.
The weather should improve, according to the forecasters. On Thursday, it’s expected to be partly sunny, with temperatures reaching 60 degrees.
If the forecast holds, the main track will have enough time to drain and should be fast for both racing days. The turf course will undoubtedly retain moisture through the weekend, likely resulting in a soft or good rating.