Pharoah is the Champ in Derby 141!

Posted to: American Pharoah Saturday, May 2, 2015
Pharoah is the Champ in Derby 141!
Zayat Stables’ long wait for a Kentucky Derby victory ended on Saturday when American Pharoah triumphed in a thrilling renewal of the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Following trio of frustrating runner-up finishes in recent years, American Pharoah’s breakthrough run was especially fulfilling for his owner, who also bred the winner.

“We own the mare (Littleprincessmama) and raced the sire (Pioneerof the Nile) so this is 100% satisfying. We are very blessed,” said an emotional Ahmed Zayat after the race.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who won his fourth Kentucky Derby, talked about American Pharoah and third-place finisher Dortmund, recalling how the last week had gone for both.

“I’ve been on pins and needles all week, but it’s been a good week. I might have had them a little too fresh. When you’re working with horses of this caliber, there is a fine line. He worked a tad fast the other day, so I backed off of him a little bit the rest of the week.”

Baffert said he had simple instructions for his jockeys in the paddock.

”I told my riders ‘it’s between you guys and Gary Stevens (on runner-up Firing Line).’ Go get them.”

Zayat took time praise how Baffert has handled American Pharoah’s career.

“He is the best trainer in America, but I have also grown up and matured. Trust is earned, and he has certainly earned our trust.”

Both Zayat and Baffert said, pending any setbacks, American Pharoah would go on to Baltimore for the Preakness S. (G1) in two weeks. Baffert also said the horse would not need to work between now and then since his fitness level is where it needs to be.

American Pharoah has won five of his six lifetime starts, all in graded stakes.  He has now earned $2,830,300, with victories in the Arkansas Derby (G1), Del Mar Futurity (G1), FrontRunner S. (G1) and Rebel S. (G2).