Pioneerof the Nile’s brilliant 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah closed out his career in magnificent fashion with a record-setting performance in the $5 million Breeder’s Cup Classic (G1) Saturday at Keeneland.
The superlatives flowed after the 3-year-old colt won the 1 ¼-mile race in the fastest time ever for the distance at Keeneland: 2:00.07, and winning by a record tying Classic margin of 6 ½ lengths.
American Pharoah’s Classic Beyer Speed Figure of 120 is the highest number for any horse in 2015.
"He gave everyone what they came to see today," said the colt's Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert. "I've never seen anything like him; I've never trained anything like him. I'm just glad Pharoah goes out the champ he is."
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, American Pharoah went right to the front out of the gate, setting fractions of :23.99, :47.40, and 1:11.21 through six furlongs, then drawing off in the stretch.
"I knew this was going to be his last race, and I let him run," Espinoza said. "On the backside, the path I was in was a little deep, so I decided to move out and he accelerated a little. Turning for home, I knew I was gone."
"What can I say? What a horse! He is the most brilliant horse I have ever seen," owner Ahmed Zayat said. "We so appreciate (having) him, and we owe American Pharoah everything. He is a once-in-a-lifetime horse... He runs with his heart and he is brilliantly fast."
American Pharoah finishes his career with a final record of nine wins and a second from 11 starts for earnings of $8,650,300. He retires as the fourth-leading North American earner of all time.
For Pioneerof the Nile, American Pharoah cemented his sire as the 2015 leading Third-Crop sire, and with progeny earnings of $11,015,296, he ranks third on this year’s General Sire list. Pioneerof the Nile will stand at WinStar in 2016 for $125,000 live foal.