American Pharoah gives Baffert 'goosebumps' with bullet work

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July 23rd, 2015

Triple Crown champ American Pharoah drilled six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.00 at Del Mar Thursday, giving trainer Bob Baffert "goosebumps" ahead of the August 2 Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth.

The work came five days after a previous bullet over the same distance in 1:11.40. Both ranked as the fastest of 12 moves at the seaside track on their respective days.

With Martin Garcia aboard, American Pharoah posted splits of :12.40, :24.00, :36.20 and :58.80. It was initially thought to be a five-furlong move, but so powerfully did the superstar continue through six furlongs that he was credited with that distance on the tab. He went on to gallop out seven furlongs in 1:24.00 and a mile in 1:38.40.

"I think he’s getting faster," Baffert said. "He gives me goosebumps."

Head clocker John Malone also gave "Pharoah" a positive review.

"He looked good -- as good as always," Malone said. "Some folks are saying they think he has lost weight. I don’t think so. He looks like he’s still growing."

Baffert commented on the shift to five days between works.

"I’m going with a five-day schedule with him now," the Hall of Famer said. "I’ve done that with other horses before. First time with a Triple Crown winner, though.

"We’ll work him a half before we leave (for Monmouth). An easy half; next Tuesday. He needed to get back to the track. That last one (work), he came out of it blowing a bit. Not today, though. He looked like he did it easy.

"If I wait too long with him, he starts to get antsy. He’ll work too fast when I put him back out there. I waited 14 days after Arkansas (Derby [G1]) and he went real quick. He needs to get out there.

"The track here is a little demanding. But he just doesn’t make it look that way.

"He’s right on course (for the Haskell). No excuses. He’ll be ready to go there."

Photo of American Pharoah's work courtesy of Del Mar via Twitter.