Okay you are American Pharoah, you are the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown, so what next? A trip to Disneyworld sounds like a good plan but after that it seems like there is more work for the newest Triple Crown winner to do.
At a Sunday morning press conference it was clear the Belmont was not going to be the final race at least at this point for American Pharoah.
“I’m personally taking this responsibility very seriously,” the owner and breeder Ahmed Zayat said. And: “With this horse, we owe it to the sport to continue properly, and as often as we possibly can.” And: “It is my genuine desire, as someone who loves horses, as a fan, to race him as long as I possibly could, at least — at least — until he finishes [as a] 3-year-old.”
Zayat told MSNBC’s Morning Joe show that the Aug. 2 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., is “probably” on deck. It’s a Grade I Stakes race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles with a $1 million purse. If he wins, American Pharoah will have won seven different Grade I Stakes races on seven different tracks.
However, American Pharoah’s trainer Bob Baffert has talked about other options that could be explored. Two races at Saratoga, Aug. 1 the Jim Dandy Stakes , The Travers, on Aug. 29, or a west coast trip to run in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, near San Diego, on Aug. 22.
The best guess is that he will run one or two more major stakes races before one last big one.
His racing career is most likely to end at the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, this year at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 31. It was first run in 1984, and if American Pharoah happened to win it, he would be the first Triple Crown winner to also get a victory at the Breeders Cup.
Until he finishes racing there will be promotional campaign that will have American Pharoah’s team inking more deals. They already have deals with private jet brand Wheels Up and Monster Energy drink. Numbers weren’t revealed for the deals, but the Monster Energy deal was reported to be the largest endorsement contract for any horse in history.
In May, the international breeding operation Coolmore announced the purchase of breeding rights from Zayat. But that deal was made in early January for an estimated $12 million and the agreement had incentives in it that could bring that final number beyond $15 million dollars.
But for now it look like American Pharoah will race a little longer before he hangs up the horse shoes.