Making his first start since his historic Triple Crown, Zayat Stables’ American Pharoah kept rolling right along with a deceptively dominating victory in the $1.75 million Haskell Inv. (G1) Sunday afternoon.
The 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile earned $1.1 million for the win and pushed his sire’s progeny earnings to $6.9 million, easily tops on the Third-Crop Sire list and also third on the General Sire list.
There was never really an anxious moment as Victor Espinoza placed American Pharoah just on the outside and behind the speedy Competitive Edge. Those two didn’t change positions until the far turn, when American Pharoah, without urging from Espinoza, up alongside and by Competitive Edge.
Espinoza remained motionless in the stretch as the powerful bay opened up by about a half dozen lengths in mid-stretch. Keen Ice made a late, non-threatening move into second as American Pharoah crossed the wire in a similar fashion as he did in his crushing win in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
His time of 1:47 4/5 was less than a second off the track record set by Bet Twice in 1987.
“I was a nervous wreck right before the race, but he just keeps bringing it; he’s just a great horse,” said Baffert. “I couldn’t believe how loud the crowd was; I’m glad they got to see a great horse. The whole jockey colony came out to see him. I’m just so emotional, he’s like a gift from God.”
An obviously overcome Ahmed Zayat paid homage to both his horse and his home state.
“It’s very rare that I’m speechless; it’s an honor and a privilege that this is happening in New Jersey.”
With eight wins from nine starts and the big payday, American Pharoah pushed his lifetime earnings to $5,630,300, making him one of the top 20 lifetime money-earning Thoroughbreds of all time.
Baffert and Zayat were both asked if they had thought about where American Pharoah may next start, but both declined to comment as they were basking in their colt’s latest triumph.