American Pharoah Kentucky Derby Workout Turns Dial to 11

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

April 26th, 2015

One of my favorite scenes in The First Saturday of May begins with a close-up on Barbaro before panning out to reveal the crush of media surrounding the eventual winner as his connections went about mundane daily tasks.

 As big as the Kentucky Derby is as an American institution—the pageantry, traditions, and economic impact—it is the big horse (or horses) each year who truly turn the dial to 11 when it comes to Derby build-up and hype.

This year’s group is an exciting one. They’re staying healthy and winning multiple races. On-track observers will no doubt be excited to see 100-point race winner Carpe Diem, Dortmund, Frosted, International Star, and Mubtaahij when they arrive, but there’s also no doubting that champion American Pharoah is “the big horse” of this year’s Kentucky Derby.

He’s been at Churchill Downs since after this Arkansas Derby win, but Sunday, April 26, was his morning in the spotlight since he registered his only workout between the Arkansas and Kentucky Derbys.

I don’t assess horseflesh the 51 weeks of the year that aren’t Kentucky Derby week, so I don’t do it this week either. I’ll leave that to experts such as Bruno DeJulio and Kerry Thomas, but it was exciting to see people excited about the workout, including owner Ahmed Zayat.

6 days and 1 ¼ miles to go…