Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2015

Pharoah bows out in ‘race for the ages’

American Pharoah owner may retire horse after Travers Stakes loss

For a Breeders’ Cup to attract a Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner is something special. To have both an Arc winner and the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years is the unprecedented spectacle that will unfold this weekend at picturesque Keeneland Race Course in the heart of Bluegrass Country in Kentucky.

On Saturday afternoon, in back-to-back races, Golden Horn will take the stage first at approximately 4:50 p.m., attempting to become the first Arc winner to capture the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf.

And yet, to fully understand the intense drama surrounding the 32nd Breeders’ Cup, that race will barely attract a ripple of the attention that will be riveted on the World Championships about 45 minutes later, when American Pharoah will close out his Hall of Fame career by facing his greatest challenge in the day’s climactic $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“It will be a race for the ages, ” said Ahmed Zayat, owner of American Pharoah. “But I am always confident in American Pharoah. He breathes a different air than everyone else.”

Surely there could not be a more fitting way for the sport’s 12th Triple Crown champion to say farewell to the nation of fans he has cultivated in his amazing growth from a hard-luck colt that missed last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile due to an injury into a champion who dispelled the notion that winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes was an impossibility in this day and age.

In his grand finale, American Pharoah will exit stage right in a test worthy of a champion, facing older foes for the first time while becoming the first horse to bid for a “Grand Slam” of the Triple Crown plus the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Read the full story at espn.go, by Bob Ehalt


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