American Pharoah Hits the Ground at CD

RSS feed Print email to a friend
9:25 pm EDT

Photo by Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography

American Pharoah completed an uneventful Monday journey from Oaklawn Park to Churchill Downs on Monday afternoon.

The Bob Baffert-trained son of Pioneerof the Nile was accompanied to Barn 33 by assistant trainer Jim Barnes, who handled American Pharoah in Hot Springs.

"The horse looked like he traveled very well - he's a good traveler," Barnes said. "The reason why we came here so early is that we were already halfway here. You don't want to go back to California and then come back to Churchill."

American Pharoah carries a four-race winning streak - all stakes races and three out of four grade I's - into the Kentucky Derby. His career record starts at 4-0-0 in five races with earnings of $1,411,500. The Derby was 19 days ahead at his arrival today.

"We're at Churchill and he'll just take it easy," Barnes said. "He doesn't need to do much. He'll breeze one time before the race."

American Pharoah was accompanied to Baffert's Churchill Downs barn by Kentucky Oaks candidate Maybellene and Clark Handicap winner Hopportunity, who is nominated to the Alysheba on Kentucky Oaks Day.

Two more Baffert-trained Derby hopes, Dortmund and One Lucky Dane, remain at Santa Anita.

Arriving at Churchill Downs shortly after American Pharoah was Mr. Z, the third-place finisher in the Arkansas Derby and the second of Zayat's trio of Kentucky Derby hopes. Mr. Z is trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas and scored his only win in 12 races in his career debut at Churchill Downs in late June. The son of Malibu Moon has four runner-up finishes and four third-place runs in those races and has earned $652,226.

Zayat also owns Gotham and Kentucky Jockey Club winner El Kabeir, who is training in New York with trainer John Terranova.

Edited Churchill Downs release