Team Pharoah to receive Preakness Special Award of Merit
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Friday they will honor Zayat Stables, trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza - the connections of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah - with the Preakness Special Award of Merit Thursday, May 19 at the Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico Race Course.
On his way to becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years, American Pharoah dramatically won last year's Preakness Stakes (G1) by seven lengths during a rain storm and over a sloppy track. Three weeks later, American Pharoah would win the Belmont Stakes to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to capture the Triple Crown.
"We're honored and thrilled to be recognized with this honor by the Maryland Jockey Club," said Justin Zayat, racing manager of Zayat Stables. "The Preakness has always been so special to us. You're treated so well and the people there are great. American Pharoah's performance in that race was so memorable. We really love Maryland and the Preakness and we can't wait to come back."
Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, said: "American Pharoah's victory in the 2015 Preakness was not only one of the most memorable in the 140-year history of the race, but American Pharoah's connections were incredible. They were extremely accommodating to everyone and were engaged with the fans before they arrived on the grounds through social media. They're love of racing and devotion to the sport is extraordinary."
The Alibi Breakfast, which began in the 1930s on the porch of the historic Pimlico Clubhouse, features a gathering of media, owners, trainers, jockeys and horsemen to celebrate the Preakness, and solicit interesting race predictions.
Seats for the Alibi Breakfast are available by contacting Jessica Schisler at Jessica.Schisler@marylandracing.com.