American Pharoah will have his final workout Monday–“an easy half-mile”–at Santa Anita before shipping Tuesday, Oct. 27, for Keeneland to prepare for his final race in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic before being retired to stud.
The mile-and-a-quarter test has drawn international interest and acute attention for its anticipated meeting between Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh and the 5-year-old mare Beholder, a two-time Eclipse Award champion who vanquished males in the Pacific Classic on Aug. 22. Thus, the Breeders’ Cup Classic could have a bearing on Horse of the Year honors.
“He looks fantastic,” Bob Baffert said after Pharoah galloped a mile on Santa Anita’s fast main track early Thursday morning. American Pharoah worked six furlongs Tuesday in a bullet 1:10.80.
“I was looking for something really strong, like last week,” Baffert said after Tuesday’s work. “We’ve sort of been going easy with him and I wanted to turn up the jets a little bit before we leave. Monday’s breeze will be easier, nothing serious.
“This was the last serious drill of his life. It’s sort of sad in a way to think that’s the last time we get to see him work like that. Just to watch him breeze, sometimes I get a bit excited, the way he does things so easily.” Baffert has called American Pharoah “a gift from God.”
“We know the Classic is going to be a tough race but my focus is just to have him ready,” Baffert added after Tuesday’s work. “I don’t think about what he’s done or what he’s up to; it’s right now, getting him ready. We’re just thinking about Lexington.”
Source: Santa Anita Park