American Pharoah looking sharp in Sunday drill
Triple Crown champion American Pharoah posted a smart work at Santa Anita on Sunday as he cranks up for a grand finale in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland.
Under regular work rider Martin Garcia, the Bob Baffert trainee was given an official time of 1:00 for five furlongs. Baffert, however, actually caught him drilling a half-mile in :47 4/5 and galloping out the added furlong in 1:00.
Owner/breeder Ahmed Zayat reported Baffert's reaction via Twitter:
This was American Pharoah's second recorded move since his upset at the hands of Keen Ice in the August 29 Travers (G1) at Saratoga. He returned to the worktab September 21 with an easy half in :49.80, and got a little more serious here.
"He went nice; he went very nice," Baffert told Santa Anita publicity. "He was on the bit and he was into his work. He was moving well. That’s the main thing."
The winner of eight straight, seven of them Grade 1 events, before tiring late at the Spa, American Pharoah is reportedly expected to ship to Kentucky early. Baffert is leaning toward completing his Classic preparations at Churchill Downs, then making the van ride over to Keeneland.
After his Breeders' Cup swan song, he's due to retire to Coolmore's Ashford Stud, near Versailles, Kentucky.
Photo of Sunday's work courtesy of Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com.