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It’s Post Time!

Join our COFFEEBREAKWITHFRIENDS Table of Discussion with

2 time Kentucky Derby Winner,

and Hall of Fame Jockey, Jerry Bailey

and his wife Suzee,

who will bring you up-to-date news

 on BREEDERS’ CUP 2015.

The richest two days in Thoroughbred racing,

 showcases the best racehorses in the world!

Watch for Jerry on NBC and NBC Sports- Network

as their team provides in depth coverage of this prestigious event.

And check in with our site often as we will be

 sending in updates as they happen,

including Jerry’s Favorites for each race!

Don’t forget to leave your comments below…

we’d love to hear from you!

Jerry & Suzee Bailey




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Hail and farewell, American Pharoah.

The Triple Crown champion won the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by 6½ lengths Saturday, taking charge out of the gate in his final race before retirement.

The 3-year-old colt ran 1¼ miles in a track-record 2:00.07 as the sentimental 3-5 favorite among the crowd of 50,155 at Keeneland. Fans stood 20-deep all along the rail, cheering and snapping cellphone photos of the superstar horse and jockey Victor Espinoza.

Except American Pharoah didn’t hear them. He wears ear plugs to muffle any sounds that might startle him.

“This was for Pharoah,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “We wanted him to go out the champion he is.”

American Pharoah took on seven rivals after Smooth Roller and champion mare Beholder dropped out. Beholder had the speed and the class to potentially make the race a contest, but a lung ailment sidelined her on Thursday.

It probably didn’t matter how many faced American Pharoah on a cloudy, cool day in the cradle of American horse country.

He smashed the old track record of 2:05.36 by more than five seconds.

“The winner is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen,” said Irishman Aidan O’Brien, who trained last-place Gleneagles.

It was a feel-good moment for a sport that has been battered and bruised — all the troubles of declining attendance and drug controversies were wiped away in two magical minutes.

“It’s a horse racing fairy tale and I just happen to be in it,” Baffert said.

American Pharoah was moving easily under Espinoza, keeping Effinex a length back in second for the first half-mile. Effinex was never a threat, though, and American Pharoah extended his lead to 3½ lengths turning for home.

“I was trying to open it up as much as I can,” Espinoza said. “I saw the wire maybe 20 yards [away], and for me it was not coming fast enough because I want to cross that wire and get it over with.”

After easing across the finish line, Espinoza took the colt far up the first turn before slowly walking past the grandstand to the winner’s circle, accompanied by raucous cheers all the way. The champion even had his own military escort walk him back to his barn.

The fans knew they had just witnessed history, the final chapter in a story that may never be repeated.
Victor Espinoza rode Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to a $5 million victory in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, the final race of the horse’s historic career. Pharoah topped the old track record of 2:05.36 by more than five seconds. Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports
American Pharoah put an exclamation point on a brilliant career in which he lost just twice — in his debut last year at Del Mar and again in the Travers on Aug. 29.

In the Classic, he paid $3.40, $3 and $2.40. The win, place and show pool wagered on the race was $8,269,736.

Effinex, a 33-1 shot, returned $14.20 and $6.60. Honor Code was another 4½ lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.

Keen Ice, who vanquished him at Saratoga, finished fourth in the Classic. Tonalist, the 2014 Belmont winner, was fifth, followed by Hard Aces, Frosted and Ireland-bred Gleneagles.

Frosted unexpectedly pressed American Pharoah on the lead in the Travers, leaving him vulnerable to the rally by Keen Ice.

This time, no one could keep up with the champ.

“It’s a lot of pressure to train a horse like this because I didn’t want to let the horse down and I didn’t want to let the fans down,” Baffert said. “I’m just so proud of him; it’s like watching my child out there.”

American Pharoah won nine of his 11 career starts, including the first sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 37 years this spring. He earned a total of $8,650,300 for Ahmed Zayat, the Egyptian-born owner who chose to keep his popular horse in training so fans could see him run.

“We wanted him to go out as a winner,” Zayat said. “He is a winner.”

American Pharoah had already ensured his place in history by ending the Triple Crown drought. He won the Derby by a length and then easily handled a sloppy track in the Preakness to win by seven lengths. In the Belmont, he led all the way en route to a dominating 5½-length victory.

After winning the Haskell Invitational in early August in Zayat’s home state of New Jersey, American Pharoah took his show to upstate New York to run in the Travers. His loss by three-quarters of a length raised the question of whether he had peaked, and an emotional Zayat considered retiring him.

Triple Crown’s Lasting Legacy
American Pharoah followed in the steps of these four Triple Crown predecessors by winning the final event of his racing career in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
American Pharoah 2015 1st
Affirmed 1978 1st
Seattle Slew 1977 1st
Secretariat 1973 1st
Citation 1948 1st
–ESPN Stats & Information
But the colt went back to his Southern California base with Baffert and regrouped. He quickly showed he was regaining his old form in training, in between entertaining visitors from children to Julia Roberts alike at his Santa Anita barn.

In a sport rife with jealousy, Baffert earned kudos from his rival trainers for how he handled the horse. Fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas popped into the post-race news conference to congratulate Baffert.

“I knew he’d break their heart at the half-mile pole, and he did it,” Lukas said. “You had him ready. On behalf of every trainer who gets up and tries to make a living, I want to congratulate you.”

American Pharoah was a remarkable blend of exceptional talent and a winning personality. Unlike most high-strung, unpredictable thoroughbreds, he was friendly and patient with fans who wanted to pet and pose with him.

“The kindest, friendliest, happiest, easiest, most brilliant horse I’ve ever seen in my life,” Zayat said. “He connected with people. He loves people. I knew he got it.”

Next up for American Pharoah is a new career as a breeding stallion at a farm in Kentucky bluegrass country near Keeneland.

“It’s going to be sad to see him go,” Baffert said. “But I think he’s done enough. He’s proved enough.”

Turning to his 10-year-old son Bode, the trainer said: “We’re going to miss him, aren’t we, buddy?”

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Lexington is an energized city on the move – with more to offer than ever – and they will be your host for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland.  It’s your Winning Ticket for an exciting week long festival showcasing all that Lexington has to offer at the Breeders’ Cup Festival, held October 24-31.

Considered a homecoming of sorts, the Breeders’ Cup was the brainchild of legendary local horseman, John Gaines. This yearly event comprises the richest two days in Thoroughbred racing, and showcases the best racehorses in the world.

Special opportunities to experience Lexington will be available all week long including special tours showcasing famous horse farms and distilleries.  So get ready to enjoy the celebration with outdoor music, parades, parties, food competitions, a 5-K Race and more.

About the Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup is an annual series of Grade I Thoroughbred horse races, operated by Breeders’ Cup Limited, and will be hosted in 2015 by the iconic Keeneland Race Course for the first time in history.

Learn More at

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Grade I winner Smooth Roller, who was a candidate to challenge Triple Crown winner American Pharoah on the front end, was announced as a scratch out of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday morning.

With Smooth Roller scratched and champion Beholder being declared out of the race on Thursday, this year’s Classic field is reduced to eight horses and is tied with the 1984, 1985 and 1989 Classics for the smallest field ever.

Trained by Victor Garcia, Smooth Roller has only made four career starts but earned his way into the Classic field with a win in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Sept. 26. Speculation about his status for the Classic has swirled since he arrived in Kentucky on Oct. 19 as the 4-year-old Hard Spun gelding had not worked since going 5 furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 17 and did little more than jog during his training at Keeneland.

With both Smooth Roller and Beholder out of the Classic, Grade I winner Frosted would seem to be the only remaining entrant capable of putting any pressure on American Pharoah on the front end.

Also Saturday morning, Talmada, who drew into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf field Friday, is now a scratch out of that spot. Hard Not to Like was also scratched.

Stay with throughout the day for live Breeders’ Cup updates on traffic, the fan experience and, of course, the racing.

Read more here:

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Beholder out of Breeders’ Cup Classic After Bleeding

— Oct 29, 2015, 1:05 PM ET

Beholder is out of the Breeders’ Cup Classic after she bled Thursday following her morning gallop at Keeneland.

Beholder was the early 3-1 second choice behind American Pharoah, who is running for the last time. Her absence reduces the field to nine and removes the horse expected to press the Triple Crown champion early in the $5 million race.

Trainer Richard Mandella attributed the bleeding to the fever Beholder developed when she arrived in Kentucky last week. He said the 5-year-old mare will be fine, but it would be too risky to run her Saturday.

“If I put her under the pressure of the race, she might do some serious damage,” Mandella said. “There’s obviously some irritated lung tissue there.”

Beholder arrived in Kentucky on Oct. 20 and the next day developed a temperature. Within a day, she appeared back to normal.

“She’s an aggressive mare and she was too worked up on the plane shipping here and made herself sick,” Mandella said.

Beholder is a two-time Eclipse Award winner who won the 2012 BC Juvenile Fillies and 2013 BC Distaff. She has a six-race winning streak for owner B. Wayne Hughes, who lives in Lexington.

Beholder has 15 wins in 20 career starts, but she’s never won outside her Southern California base. In two starts away from home, she finished fourth in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park in New York and second in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

“You could say we haven’t had any luck shipping, but it’s been something different every time,” Mandella said.

Her withdrawal leaves Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens without a mount in the Classic, a race he won two years ago with Mucho Macho Man.


Jerry’s Picks!


Jerry Favorites!

Check for Jerry’s Picks below each entry…

*May be subject to changes due to weather conditions.


Friday – October 30


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Daily Racing Form

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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Top Five 

 1.  Airoforce

Two wins in two starts with a win in the Bourbon stakes here at Keeneland on Oct 4 from a difficult outside post position(13). Jockey Julian Leparoux used this colts tactical speed to clear some traffic so that he was only three wide into the first turn only a length or so from the lead. He made a gradual move around the last turn and drew off with conviction.

2.  Camelot Kitten

He broke his maiden at Belmont at a mile and a sixteenth from a few lengths off the lead early then came back to be second to Airoforce in the Bourbon stakes. In that race he was squeezed soon after the start, last early, moved through horses on the far turn in the three path, muscled his way between horses with a slight steady at the 3/16 pole and raced greenly, swerving several times throughout the last furlong while closing stoutly. If he learns from that race and matures a little bit he could win this race but from the twelve post he will need to get a little lucky as he tries to save ground going into the first turn.

3.  Conquest Daddyo

This Scat Daddy colt has two wins and a second in three starts this year including a win in the Summer Stakes most recently. In that one he broke slowly, and circled the field to wear down the leaders in deep stretch and with the ten post he also has a chore to save ground going into the first turn.

4.  Hit it a Bomb

Very impressive winner of his only two races over a synthetic track in Ireland. With the fourteen post he will most likely need to take back to almost last just to get to the inside approaching the first turn to save some ground, then make a late run.

 5.  Cymric

 Nice second place finish in his last race, a group one on Arc day at Longchamp and must be respected off that race. His trainer John Gosden has won this race twice.

Suzee’s Picks…

 1.  Shogun

2.  Azur

3.  Airoforce

4.  Hunch Bet…Dressed in Hermes…

(how can I skip this one…:) )


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Dirt Mile Top Five 

Like the sprint this is always an entertaining race with good finishes. Off numbers and visuals Liam’s Map is the top pick, in fact if he had run in the Classic he may have been the one to beat , so why is he in here and not there since there is no one who could run with him early at a mile and a quarter? This worries me to some degree but they will if he’s even close to his best he will win.

Red Vine , runner up in the Kelso and a distant third to Beholder in the Pacific Classic could do it. This guy sits just off a moderate pace or mid pack if its fast early and always runs his race, and with Bradester and Appealing Tale in here it will likely be hot. Appealing Tale will have a chance if he can draw outside the other speed as he has done on two occasions. Bradester is in the same boat. Altnough most of his wins come on the lead, he has stalked and won. He has also been working bullets coming into this race.Wicked Strong is the puzzle in here. If all his preps are designed to get to this point and not just a “willy nilly, lets trying anything until he runs well” approach then he’s a legit long shot.

1. Liam’s Map

If he is right, there isn’t another miler in the world that can touch him at this distance. His win in the Woodward was exceptional and he would have won the Whitney had it been at a mile. He has twice successfully shown the ability to sit just behind a suicidal pace if necessary and that’s what makes him so dangerous. Trainer Todd Pletcher’s decision not to run him in the Classic(no other speed like his) where he would certainly control the pace, makes me wonder if this horse is losing the edge he had this summer. Of course any post position outside the six is a huge negative because of the very short run to the first turn(even for this horse), so the draw will be critical.

2. Lea

This horse has one of the fastest performances in America last year and this year he has some very good races as well even though he has only won one race. He is three for three at this distance and there is plenty of speed to set a good pace for the mid pack closer.

3. Red Vine

This Chris Clement trained son of Candy Ride only has two wins from five starts this year but the other three efforts( two seconds and a third) were against Beholder, Appealing Tale and Bradester who had their lifetime best performances on that day. His come from behind style may be a perfect fit for Keeneland’s surface is they go to quick up front, and he has been pretty good since switching to dirt late last year.

4. Wicked Strong

This four year old son of Hard Spun has been both a mystery since his win in the Jim Dandy in Aug 2014. He has a very quirky personality and I think trainer Jimmy Jerkens is still figuring him out..turf,..dirt…long ..shorter..Jerkens did win the mile with Corinthian and I’m guessing all of these different races are a plan to end up in the mile. This horse is certainly not a pace setter but that’s where he was in the Gold Cup(his last race) , and I think it was to put both speed and stamina into him for the BC mile. Post eight will not help him so he will need some luck working his way towards the rail going into the first turn.

5.  Bradester

Has a lot of speed and will likely set the pace with the inside post. If Liam’s Map puts a ton of pressure on hin early it will spell doom but if for some reason he gets the lead with a moderate pace, he could be tough to catch.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Lea 

2. Red Vine

3.  Liam’s Map


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Juv Filly Turf Top Five 

1. Harmonize

This Scat Daddy filly has been very impressive in her two wins and very versatile as well winning the PG Johnson stakes at Saratoga on the lead and the Jessamine stakes over this course on Oct 7th from twelve lengths off the pace and was much the best as she went eight wide on the last turn. So she has a win over the course and she can run from any position the races dictates, and with post eight that versatility will come in handy.

2. Illuminate

This Euro shipper has two wins and a second in three starts including a grade two victory. Just getting nosed out in her last race she waited only a few lengths from the lead through the early part of the six furlong race, jockey Frankie Detorri made his move with just over a furlong from the finish, looked to be a winner but started losing momentum in the last 50 yards. With this race over a quarter mile longer, he will need to time the move just right or this filly may come up a tough empty. It must be noted that the last race was uphill in the late stages , so the flat track here will help her carry her speed better, but with post ten, Detorri will need to work some magic in order to get close to the inside rail saving ground into the first turn.

3. Sapphire Kitten

This Kitten’s Joy filly broke her maiden at Kentucky Downs and came back to just miss to Harmonize in the Jessamine stakes. Her closing kick could put her right there.

4. Catch a Glimpse

Impressive winner of the Natalma stakes at Woodbine set all the fractions winning gate to wire that day, and ran faster than the males in the Summer that day. There is other speed in this race so she may need to sit just off the pace in order to win, but her trainer Mark Casse is on fire recently.

5. Nemoralia

This Euro shipper came to the states to run on the dirt but caught the slop in the Frizette at Belmont but still gave a great account of herself running second that day. She won a listed handicap in the UK and though she is well below the best over there, she may be okay here.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Harmonize

2. Illuminate

3.  Alice Springs

4.  Gliding By (Long Shot)


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Distaff Top Five 

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1. Wedding Toast

This five year old mare by Derby winner Street Sense has brilliant speed and will most certainly use that to try and take the Distaff gate to wire. She has four wins in her six starts this year and the last three in a row including two grade ones. Her negatives are that one her poorest performances of her career came at Keeneland this year but the race was at seven furlongs(too short for her) and she was wide in that race. Also she has had a bad habit of drifting out in the stretch earlier in her career but seemed to have gotten over that however it resurfaced in her last win. All in all she does seem to be in form and she should control the pace which will be to her advantage.

2. Sheer Drama

Trainer David Fawkes has this five year old mare on top her of game wining her last two with both having grade one status. With Beholder heading for the Classic, she is at the top of the division and with her stalking style she can adapt to most pace scenarios, but will have her hands full trying to run down Wedding Toast, and having drawn the fourteen post on the far outside, her jockey Jersey Joe Bravo will have to be a magician to get over and save a little ground heading to the first turn. I had her on top before the post draw.

3. Got Lucky

One of three trainer Todd Pletcher brings to the Classic, this four year old filly comes off a win in the Spinster over the Keeneland surface and seems to be coming to hand at the right time. She will need another to challenge the pace in order for her come from behind style to be effective enough to run them down in the later stages of the race.

4. Curalina

Another of Todd Pletcher’s trio will need to runner faster than she ever has in her seven race career but her second to Wedding toast in her latest race indicates she may be improving. She has tactical speed and she create her own luck through the race.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Wedding Toast

2. Got Lucky

3. Stopchargingmaria

4. Stellar Wind




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Jerry’s Picks…

1.  Nickname

2.  Rachel Valentina

3.  Songbird

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Songbird

2. Tap To It

3. Rachel Valentina


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Jerry’s Picks…

 1.  Undrafted

2.  Bobby’s Kitten

3.  Lady Shipman

Suzee’s Picks…

1.Bobby’s Kitten

2. Undrafted

3. Pure Sensation

4. Lady Shipman


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf Top Five 

 1.  Cavorting

Other than a horrible begging to the year with a ninth place finish in the Dovana Dale stakes at Gulfstream Park in Feb., a race in which she apparently wasn’t ready to give a top effort, she has perfect with three wins in three stakes including the Grade one Test Stakes at Saratoga at this distance. She followed that with a win in the Prioress on Sept 6 and should be well rested for this. With a ton of speed in here, her come from behind style should suit.

2.  Judy The Beauty

The defending champ may have lost a step from last year but still merits consideration on her best day. She prefers an outside stalking trip like she had in winning this event last year but in her last race she was stuck down inside other horse and lacked racing room in mid stretch which may have cost her the win, so drawing post eleven is definitely a plus and all but assures she will get her preferred outside stalking trip.

3.  Super Majesty

This lightly raced three year old filly trained by Jerry Hollendorfer is a nose away from being undefeated in four starts. She traveled from California to Churchill Downs to win the Dogwood stakes in her most recent race taking it gate to wire, which is her style but with a ton of speed both all around her, she may need to come from a bit behind.

4.  La Verdad

This speedy filly just raced this past Sat in New York but won with so much ease that her trainer Linda rice has decided to run her right back. In that race she did show a different dimension by coming from a bit behind and if she can do the same then who knows.

5.  Stonetastic

In this race last year she was co-favorite but ran a disappointing 4th after leading most of the race. This year she got a late start, not making her debut until Saratoga running second in the Shine Again stakes then followed that with a blowout win by over 15 lengths at Parx. Question is was that last race to good.. was that her BC effort??

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Judy The Beauty

2. Cavorting 

3. Taris

4. Wavell Avenue


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Jerry’s Top Five 2015

1.  Legatissimo

Won last two , both grade ones and seems to be the class of the Euros as she is getting better as the season winds up. Two back in her Nassau stakes win she beat Arabian Queen who is the only horse to ever finish in front of Golden Horn. Trained by David Wachman who has three eleventh place finishes in BC in as many starts so this is his best chance by far. She has enough speed to be mid pack and expect her to be coming during the last three furlongs.

2.  Dacita

Very impressive record in Chile last year winning three grade ones , and the only race she wasn’t in the money was a grade one against males(finished 4th). Chad Brown took over her training here in the states and in her only race in the U.S. she won the Ballston Spa from way back and a huge closing kick to run down the talented Tepin in the final yards at a mile and a sixteenth. The added distance of this race can only help.

3.  Secret Gesture

This filly was fifth in this race last year but only beaten two lengths, but returned to the states this past August to win the Beverly D stakes only to be disqualified in what I think was a bad call. She may not be as good as the top choice but she is right there with the rest of the American fillies.

4.  Stephanie’s Kitten

This six year old mare is a BC veteran having won the Juvenile Filly Turf in 2011, and finished second to Dayatthespa in this race last year. She comes off a win in the grade one Flower Bowl over her favorite soft turf but will need her best effort to take this one and with post eleven her jockey Irad Ortiz r will need to ease back early and head towards the rail to save ground into the first turn because she will likely need to go wide on last turn.

5.  Miss France

Was narrowly beaten in her only two starts this year but steps up in distance which is a negative.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Legatissimo

2. Santiero Italia

3. Dacita

4. Stephanie’s Kitten


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Sprint Top Five 2015

The sprint is always of the Breeders Cup’s most exciting race and often has contentious finishes. The most exciting horse of late has been Runhappy. He is likely the fastest of the fast early in the race and he won the Phoenix(his last race prep) on this track from the very disadvantageous one post in a performance that would likely win this race this year. Private Zone is another very fast horse winning all but one of his eight victories in the US(since coming form Panama in 2012) on the lead but he did sit just off the lead in last year’s Vosburg successfully . The last two years he has won the Vosburg run on the last week of September but came up short in the BC Sprint and the excuse could have been the Vosburg wins took too much out of him so this year his win in the Forego at Saratoga on Aug 29 was his last prep, giving him and extra month going into this race.

Salutos Amigos seems to be a chamo at Aqueduct but not as good elsewhere in the past however his second to Rock Fall in the Vosburg was an excellent performance as maybe he’s on the verge of a huge effort. Over the course of the year, his average 2015 DRF Beyer speed figures(the higher the number, the faster the performance) are the best in the field….

Saluotos Amigos 103.5, Private Zone 102.8,Ivan Fullunvalot 102.5, Runhappy 91.8

1.  Runhappy

This three year old son of Derby winner Super Saver has been most impressive in his last four starts including a huge win in the King’s Bishop(Saratoga’s premier three year old sprint race) and most recently in the Phoenix stakes at Keeneland against older horses from the inside post. The worst post for a sprinter is typically the inside because you are either forced to use your speed almost the entire race or you drop back and the field collapses in front of you and the navigating the traffic can be a nightmare . This colt is very fast so he takes the lead but he can carry his speed the entire race. There is usually a lot of speed in the sprint but he seems unfazed by running lighting fast fractions early and mid race.

2.  Salutos Amigos

He is a much better horse when running at Aqueduct but his race in the Vosburg is pretty good. He can sit just off the leaders and punch hard, but his wide trip in last years BC sprint cost him so he will need to save ground.

3.  Wild Dude

With eight starts this year he has been a busy horse, and his last three races have been superb. He was the recipient of a suicidal pace in his last win at Santa Anita, coming from last in a five horse field but he could get that same type of pace in this race.

4.  Big Macher

This is definitely an long shot but with a chance. First he needs to break well, something he didn’t do in last years BC Spring (stumbled at the break and was last until the top of the stretch but came flying only beaten four lengths) as well as the Dubai Golden Shaeen and his last race but still came flying to win a restricted stake. With only three races this year he could be peaking now.

5. Private Zone

This will be the third BC sprint for this six year old but he seems to be running much younger than his age. He has three wins from five starts this year and his last two wins were very impressive. He usually tries to use his speed to gain the lead early but in last years Cup he sat just off the early pace setter and an outside post may help him do that again. If he draws inside of runhappy, I think he could be compromised, so obviously the post position draw is extremely important to this horse.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Private Zone

2. Runhappy

3. Holy Boss

4. Limousine Liberal


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Mile Top Five 2015

1.  Make Believe -(was 2)

This three year old colt has two wins in four starts this season(both wins in grade ones) and an second with the only bad race , a fifth in the St James Palace against Gleneagles who one of Europe’s best. He is blessed with enough early speed to be tactical with almost any pace, and has tremendous acceleration. Seven furlongs may be his best distance but he has been stretched to a mile with success.

 2.   Esoterique

This year old mare is one of two trained by Andre Fabre and arguably his best chance although she’s only slightly more well regarded. She run five times in 2015 with four of those against males(not as uncommon in Europe as in the US) and has two wins(one in a grade one vs males) a second and a third on both soft and firm ground, so its obvious she is versatile. Her style is coming from way back so she will need an honest pace up front and luck getting through traffic. The on negative I see is that zero for three around left handed turns, and only one for seven around all races involving turns.

3.  Karakontie

Last years winner has had only two races this year without success but both those were on soft ground which he dislikes but he was only beaten 4 lengths in one and two in the other while finishing third. He will again get good pace to run at but he will need racing luck with his come from the clouds style and since he won from post 14 last year, post 11 should be a piece of cake.

4. Obviously

He will certainly be the speed of the race and though he may get away with an easier pace than he has in his two other BC Mile attempts, Midnight Storm will keep him honest. He first and only race this year was in the Woodbine Mile and as expected went straight to the lead, opened up a five length lead and hung on well to be third beaten only a length and a half…pretty good for his first race since last years BC Mile on Nov. 1 2014. The ground at Woodbine was yielding so the course condition will make no difference to him, and he may be a big price.



6.  Tourist

This Bill Mott trainee, sired by two time NBC Classic winner Tiznow ran a huge race in the Shadwell Mile to be third with a very wide trip on both turns and only beaten a neck for all the money. He has even worse luck in last year’s BC Mile ,forced wide both turns that day as well. He is a long shot pick ONLY if he draws inside the five post, have a great inside trip and not have any traffic trouble to have any chance of beating the top group and even then he may only manage third.

7.  Tepin

This four year old American filly is tackling the males and may very well give them as well as Esoterique all they can handle. Her win in the First Lady stakes at Keeneland was faster than the males ran over the same course two hours later in the Shadwell Mile. She is very tactical so she will make her own luck and is not dependent on any pace scenario.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Make Believe

2. Obviously

3. Tourist /Esoterique


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Juvenile Top Five 2015

1.  Greenpointcrusader

This son of Preakness winner Bernardini has two wins and a second in three starts with his latest a win in the Champagne from way back after a stumbling start. Since there are no standouts on either coast, he appears to have a slight edge.

2.  Brody’s Cause

This son of Giant’s Causeway won the Breeders Futurity at Keeneland in his last and is also two wins in three starts. He comes from way back and since we know he likes the Keeneland surface he gets a slight nod over the rest.

3.  Exaggerator

This son of Curlin won the Saratoga Special from last to first before running second in the Breeders Futurity at Keeneland. He appeared to run in spots in that race and maybe didn’t see the oncoming Brody’s Cause in the stretch. He may gain some education from that race and if he shows up with the addition of blinkers don’t be surprised. He’s a bit more tactical than the top two and should be mid pack which make his jockey’s job a bit easier.

4.  Unbridled Outlaw

This Dale Roman’s trained colt was third to Cocked and Loaded in the Iroquois stakes at Churchill Downs but had 5 lengths worth of trouble while being beaten only 3. Since that race was at this distance of a mile and a sixteenth,

the lack of a recent prep doesn’t bother me.

5.  Nyquist

California invader is unbeaten in his four starts but each race has been less impressive than the previous one. He is speed only and could possibly wire the field as he has been doing but I don’t think his speed will be as effective over the Keeneland surface as it has been in California and his outside post position is a definite negative.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Brody’s Cause

2. Waterloo Bridge

3. Greenpointcrusader

4. Isotherm


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Jerry’s Breeders Cup Turf Top Five  

 1.  Golden Horn

Since he is the best turf horse in Europe at this distance, he is the best turf horse in the world at this distance. At just three years old he has only eight races(seven this year) and has won seven . He has won on the lead, stalking and from back over firm and soft ground so he doesn’t need anything his own way. Trained by John Gosden (4 BC wins but none in the BC Turf) and ridden by Frankie Detorri who has won this race a record four times enhancing his chances even more. So, he is the most talented horse, needs not luck in the race and handles any type ground. Negatives.. he does break a bit slow…and this is the end of a long year so he could be spent.

2. Found

This three year old son of Galileo hasn’t been able to beat Golden Horn in two times he faced him this year but then again not many have. His second in the Champion Stakes a couple of weeks ago was a good effort and make him a player in here.

3.  Big Blue Kitten

This son of BC Turf runner up Kitten’s Joy is a model of consistency with three wins and two seconds in his five starts this year including two grade on wins. His style is to come from the clouds and gain the lead in deep stretch but to do that he will need a fast pace. To that end his owner Ken Ramsey usually runs the front running Shinning Copper to ensure an honest pace and that could also compromise Golden Horn to some degree. As all closers, BBK will need some luck weaving through traffic during the race.

4.  The Pizza Man

Cool name, and as it suggests, he delivers! He has won three of four race this year including the prestigious Arlington Million and just missed in the Shadwell Mile running a fast closing second. He can adjust to any pace and he always comes with a good finish.

5.  Twilight Eclipse

He and Slumber are very close in talent and both have taken turns beating each other including Slumber a nose better that TE in their last race(the Turf Classic0 but Twilight Eclipse got into a ton of trouble that day and without that happening he would have beaten both Slumber and the winner Big Blue Kitten. It seems as if this guy finds trouble often in his races so he will need racing luck.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. Golden Horn

2. The Pizza Man

3.  Found

4. Twilight Eclipse


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Jerry’s  Breeders Cup Classic Top Five 2015

As is the case in many years, the talent pool is so close that there is no clear-cut favorite in my mind. Let’s start with the Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Not only is he the first Triple Crown winner in thirty eight years, he can become the only horse in history to win the BC Classic as well as the TC but he will likely need to run faster than he ever has before to win. It looks as if he will be the controlling speed in this race (which is a big plus) but he will most definitely get challenged as he heads into the far turn, and most likely by the filly Beholder. She has the next most tactical advantage of the top four contenders in the race because she can adjust to any pace scenario. If she runs back to her Pacific Classic performance she will likely win, but that’s not a given, and the males in this race are MUCH faster than those she beat in the afore mentioned race. Tonalist has been the most consistent this year (in terms of speed numbers..will get to that later) and has seemed to have corrected the issue that was past of his undoing in last year’s BC Classic and that is getting too far behind early. If he can race in mid pack instead of back with Honor Code early, it makes navigating through traffic a lot easier as well as not having to make up as much ground on the top two. Honor Code showed his brilliant closing kick in both the Met Mile and the Whitney but ran a stinker in his last race, the Kelso stakes. He is really dependent on a fast early pace up front to be make his closing kick effective, and he will likely need to circle horses on the last turn losing precious ground in the process. If all the 2015 speed figures from the DRF are averaged out for each horse, here are the results (with the higher the number being the faster performances)..

Tonalist 108.4, Honor Code and American Pharoah 104.4, Beholder 101.2

 1.  American Pharoah

He’s done almost everything asked of him this year and he’s truly a great horse so he could easily be my number one pick. He will control the pace but will need to run faster than he ever has before and his jockey Victor Espinoza will have to ride the fine line of using enough of his speed to gain a few length advantage early without going so fast that it will compromise his finish. Trainer Bob Baffert also will need to have him trained to perfection because only one horse in Breeders Cup history has won the Classic from a nine week layoff(Invasor). I don’t think the post make any difference in this case.

2.  Beholder- OUT

I tried very hard to find a reason why this five year old mare shouldn’t be my top pick. Her only negative for me is that she may have run her lifetime best race in the Pacific Classic and won’t possess that kind of effort again(which she will need to win). The positives are that she can adapt to any pace scenario, she gets a weight break and she has Stevens aboard. Post position ten is actually fine allowing Stevens to gain a stalking position outside American Pharoah and any other horses that may show early speed although I think it will be her that stalks. After looking deeply into the speed figures I don’t think she is quite as fast as AP and when she tries to get by him she will come up short.

2.  Tonalist

 I have like this horse for a long time and he was my pick in the Classic last year but was way too far back(last by 14 lengths) early in the race, went wide on the first turn and very wide on the second turn, but was only beaten five lengths on a speed favoring track. Although he had the same issue in a couple of race this year, his most recent race in the Jockey Club Gold cup is much more of the style he needs to run..only 6 or seven lengths from the lead at any given time, and since American Pharoah will be the only real speed in the Classic, it will be even more important for jockey John Velazquez to have Tonalist within striking distance. Also the post makes no difference to this horse.

3.  Honor Code

I know this guy beat Tonalist in the Whitney stakes but I don’t think this horse is as true of a mile and a quarter horse as Tonalist is. The brilliant closing kick he used in winning the met Mile and the Whitney will be somewhat diminished by the extra distance of the mile and a quarter Classic as well as a pace that is not going to fall apart as it did in the Met Mile and the Whitney. With all that being said, if this guy wins, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise. Post makes no difference to this horse as well.

4.  Frosted

5.  Smooth Roller – OUT

This may be a bit of a leap of faith because this four year old son of Hard Spun has only raced four times prior but he is certainly improving. His effort in the Awesome Again stakes on Sept 26 at Santa Anita was a huge improvement and he doesn’t need to go forward much more to hit the winner’s circle in the Classic. He has had issues breaking cleanly form the gate but if he can keep his whits about him pre race, and since he drew outside American Pharoah, I give him a punchers chance. With clean break he should be sitting just behind Beholder who should be just off the leader American Pharoah in the early stages. My only concern is he has only jogged and no gallops or workouts since arriving at Keeneland.

Suzee’s Picks…

1. American Pharoah

2.  Beholder-OUT

2.  Tonalist

3.  Honor Code

4.  Gleneagles…(longshot)




Gary Young


October 14

American Pharoah

12 23:2/ 36 /47:2 /1.11 1.24 out 1.37:1

Broke off 7 lengths behind Madam Aamoura and was travelling comfortably throughout.

Reached even terms entering the stretch and went by impressively…

This was his first real serious work in a while
and he looked very good…

Grade A-

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October 15


12:2/ 24:3 /37/ 1.01:3 out 1.16

Broke 2 behind Osmoz with Stevens sitting still all the way,

easily went past in nice fashion while working on a track

that was not overly fast. She looks terrific and

seems to be ready to step up into this much tougher league than she’s
faced in her last 2 facile victories.


24:3 /36:4/ 1.01:4

Seems to have bounced out after her recent disaster… in good shape.

Her best race would make her a major factor in the F&M Sprint

Oct 17

Big Macher

49:1 .13:4

Broke off 2 behind Deeds Not Words(no not the old Lukas colt)

and Little Jerry and got by late while getting mild urging from Bejarano.

Has been a great claim but might be in tough on Halloween…
Grade B-

Stellar Wind

25:2 /1.01:4 /1.27

Started 2 behind usual workmate Scooter Bird

and got by under lite push from Espinoza.

Never that flashy in the morning but she will need the race of her life

to threaten in the Ladies Classic.
Grade B-

Hard Aces

36:1 /1.00:2

Actually went much better than normal while in company with Imwiththeblonde.

Usually a lazy guy in the a.m. but by his standards this was good.

The older male division in California has been very suspect all year and

I will pass on them in Breeders Cup

Grade B


24:1 /36:2/ 1.00

Very eager from pole as usual, relaxed somewhat

in middle of work and finished in hand.

He was cooked in a speed dual last out

and there is plenty of speed again for him to contend with.

Grade B


24 /48:3 /1.13:2

The probable favorite for the Juvenile Fillies went on her own throughout

with Mike Smith in the irons. She is obviously super talented

but I’d like to see her carrying a little more flesh as she nears her biggest test.

Grade B


35:4 /1.00

The probable front runner on the turf put in a super turf work

and galloped out like a train. The Keeneland turf course is unique

with its sandy base and this horse prefers firm footing

but is training much better since his comeback race at Woodbine.

Grade A-


1.05:3 1.30:2

She will be a long shot if she gets in the F&M Turf

but finished nicely in her turf work.

Grade B+

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October 20

American Pharoah

12:1 /24:1/ 35:3 /47 /1.10:4 out 1.23:4 1.37:1

The Triple Crown champ had some great mornings leading up to this work

and delivered an awesome drill, breaking off 7 lengths behind his target

and cruising by under restraint entering the stretch.

This will be the last serious drill of an illustrious career

and if he exits this work galloping like he did the days before,

it will take a massive effort to deny him

Grade A+

October 24

Kobe’s Back

23:3/ 46:4

Always a good work horse he has trained even better than normal of late. He was in hand throughout here, needs to overcome some gate issues in order to help his chances but certainly will have some pace to run at.

Grade B


11:4 /23:2 /47:3

Warmed up a little stiff but worked decently under legendary money rider Mike Smith, who will need to make decisions quickly from the 10 hole going into the first turn.

Grade B-

Big Macher

37:1 /1.01:3

Fair work under light urging late. He has been a claim every owner dreams of but he’s in the deep end of the pool Saturday.
Grade C


37:2/ 1.01 /out 1.13:3

Started 5 behind his target under Espinoza and finished like a train, blowing by his target late while on his own. This is an example of a work being very good without getting a fast final time. He’s trained by the man that won this race last year and I’m sure Keith is hoping for a meltdown up front again this year.

Grade A-

October 25


35:2 /58:4 /out 1.13

Super fast colt was his usual aggressive self in this drill, working from the 4 1/2 pole to a 1/16th past the wire.He’s coming off 2 poor efforts and there looks to be a ton of gas in this years sprint.
Grade B



36:4/ 1.01:3

Probable front runner in the Mile was under a hold throughout after having a more stiff drill last Sunday. He has trained well of late and could hit the board if he takes to Keeneland’s unique turf surface.
Grade B

Big John B

38/ 1.03:2

Also went a not serious 5/8 while galloping out nicely

(gallop out times cant be taken on SA turf)
Grade B

October 26

American Pharoah

11:4 /23:1/ 46:3 out 59:4

If you didn’t know who it was and didn’t have a watch in your hand you’d have thought it was a half mile in 50. The Triple Crown Champ has had a terrific last 2 weeks leading up to his finale. He looked awesome in this breeze. It has been a true privilege to watch him train.
Grade A+


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09/03/2015 10:16AM
American Pharoah points to Breeders’ Cup Classic
By Jay Privman

DEL MAR, Calif. – With the belief that American Pharoah “deserves the chance to be in the sport’s premier year-end event,” his owner and breeder, Ahmed Zayat, confirmed Thursday that American Pharoah would remain in training and point to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, mirroring the comments trainer Bob Baffert made 48 hours earlier.

While Baffert came around sooner that Zayat, the final call was, ultimately, up to Zayat, who in the immediate aftermath of American Pharoah’s loss in the Travers Stakes last Saturday at Saratoga said he was leaning “60-40” toward retirement.

Zayat on Thursday said he had lengthy discussions with Baffert, his son Justin Zayat – who manages his racing stable – assistant trainer Jim Barnes, and jockey Victor Espinoza over the past several days, most notably a four-hour powwow with Baffert on Tuesday afternoon.

“I have discussed all aspects of American Pharoah’s race last Saturday in the Travers – and his condition since the race – with our whole team and have decided American Pharoah deserves another chance, so we are pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Classic,” Zayat said Thursday morning.

“I am very confident in my decision. Not a moment has gone by since the race on Saturday when I have not thought about this decision. My initial concern right after the race was about American Pharoah’s condition, because he did not run his ‘A’ race. He has come out of the race in great shape. And after examining all the evidence and talking it over with our team – Bob Baffert, my son Justin, Jimmy Barnes, and Victor Espinoza – I believe there were a combination of factors that prevented American Pharoah from running his absolute best on Saturday. I have every confidence that he can run to his best again, and he deserves the chance to do so.

“I am very confident that this is the right decision for American Pharoah. He loves to race. He has provided my family, racing fans, and general sports fans with great thrills this year. He won the Triple Crown earlier this year, and he deserves the chance to be in the sport’s premier year-end event.”

The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be run Oct. 31 at Keeneland. That will be American Pharoah’s final race before he goes to stud at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

American Pharoah is currently at Del Mar, where he has been based all summer for training before and after starts in the Haskell at Monmouth and the Travers. He is scheduled to go to Santa Anita next Tuesday, the day after Del Mar’s meeting ends.

However, Zayat said he had discussed with Baffert the possibility of sending American Pharoah to Churchill Downs in the next fortnight to do his training there in advance of the Breeders’ Cup. While that is not a finalized plan, it is definitely under serious consideration.

American Pharoah was based at Churchill Downs following his win in the Arkansas Derby in April and trained there for nearly two months in advance of his wins in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, which made him the sport’s 12th Triple Crown winner.

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Fans fervently hoping to see American Pharoah conclude his brilliant career in the Breeders’ Cup Classic can breathe easily.

Owner Ahmed Zayat announced Thursday morning that he has decided to keep the sport’s first Triple Crown champion in 37 years in training despite the shock of a second-place finish in last weekend’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

“I have discussed all aspects of American Pharoah’s race last Saturday in the Travers — and his condition since the race — with our whole team, and have decided American Pharoah deserves another chance, so we are pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Classic,” Zayat said in a statement released to and Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman.

In the minutes after American Pharoah suffered a stunning defeat in the Travers, Zayat, who came into the race believing his champion could win by “daylight,” said his “gut feeling” over a runner-up finish behind Keen Ice was to retire American Pharoah because of a suspicion that the 3-year-old superstar was tailing off. But after conversations with everyone associated with the colt, Zayat has elected to give his champion a chance at what he called “redemption.”

“I am very confident in my decision,” Zayat said. “Not a moment has gone by since the race on Saturday when I have not thought about this decision. My initial concern right after the race was about American Pharoah’s condition, because he did not run his ‘A’ race. He has come out of the race in great shape. And after examining all the evidence and talking it over with our team — [trainer] Bob Baffert, my son Justin [racing manager for Zayat Stables], [assistant trainer] Jimmy Barnes, and [jockey] Victor Espinoza — I believe there were a combination of factors that prevented American Pharoah from running his absolute best on Saturday. I have every confidence that he can run to his best again, and he deserves the chance to do so.”
A little more than 24 hours after he galloped a mile and a quarter around Saratoga’s main track in an unusually quick 2:24, American Pharoah was bitterly pressed by Belmont Stakes runner-up Frosted through demanding fractions of six furlongs in 1:11.48 and a mile in 1:35.08. In the stretch, American Pharoah drew clear of Frosted, who would finish third 2¼ lengths behind him, but he had little left to fend off Keen Ice in the final furlong and wound up second, just three-quarters of a length behind the winner.

“We beat the horse. It wasn’t the track, it wasn’t the shipping that beat him,” Zayat said. “I am cursing myself for it. We were asking him to be bionic for all he went through.”

Zayat said he didn’t know whether American Pharoah would be given a prep race before the Breeders’ Cup and that Baffert would monitor the colt’s progress in the coming weeks before plans are finalized.

With American Pharoah in the mix, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic promises to be one of the most eagerly anticipated races in decades. In addition to the Triple Crown winner, the mile and a quarter test on Oct. 31 at Keeneland is expected to attract the two-time champion mare Beholder, who defeated males last month in the $1 million Pacific Classic; Coolmore’s foreign invader Gleneagles, who has won seven of nine starts and was Europe’s Cartier Champion 2-year-old male in 2014; Whitney and Metropolitan Handicap winner Honor Code; Tonalist, who captured the 2014 Belmont Stakes, denying California Chrome of a Triple Crown sweep; and Keen Ice, the 16-1 upset winner of the Spa’s Midsummer Derby who was beaten by American Pharoah in their three previous meetings.

By winning at Keeneland, American Pharoah would become the first horse to achieve the newly minted Grand Slam of the Triple Crown plus the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“I am very confident that this is the right decision for American Pharoah,” the 52-year-old owner said. “He loves to race. He has provided my family, racing fans and general sports fans with great thrills this year. He won the Triple Crown earlier this year, and he deserves the chance to be in the sport’s premier year-end event.”

The $1.6 million Travers ended American Pharoah’s eight-race winning streak and was his first setback since a fifth-place finish in his career debut at Del Mar on Aug. 9, 2014. The sport’s 12th Triple Crown champion currently has career earnings of $5,900,300, placing him 27th on the all-time list behind Japan’s Espoir City ($11,443,812) and the United States’ Curlin ($10,501,800).

Aside from attracting a sold-out crowd of 50,000 for the Travers, American Pharoah cemented his legacy as a fan favorite on the eve of the Midsummer Derby, when a crowd estimated at more than 15,000 turned out on a Friday morning at Saratoga to watch him gallop around the main track.

“I was overwhelmed by [the crowd at Friday’s gallop],” Baffert said on the morning after the Travers. “It was pretty cool to see. It’s amazing what he’s done for racing. I know my son Bode will remember that. It was something special. Everybody in town afterward when they saw me said, ‘We’re sorry. We feel so bad for you, Bob, but thanks for bringing that horse.'”

Reflecting on the excitement American Pharoah brought to the historic, 147-year-old Spa, New York Racing Association vice president of racing operations Martin Panza said, “Anyone who was here [for the Travers] will remember it for the rest of their lives. The whole week was special. What happened Friday was something I had never seen in my 30 years in racing. That in and of itself is amazing.”

The colt has turned those around him into celebrities, a turn of events best illustrated by Espinoza being chosen to compete this fall during the 21st season of the hit ABC show “Dancing with the Stars.”

At the end of his racing career, the homebred American Pharoah will be turned over to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky, where he will begin a new career as a sire. Coolmore acquired the son of Pioneerof the Nile after the Preakness through a deal believed to be worth at least $20 million.

Those plans, though, are on hold for now. American Pharoah’s racing career is back on track.




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08/29/2015 8:20PM
Keen Ice stuns American Pharoah in Travers
By David Grening

Keen Ice rallies to beat Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes on Saturday.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – With a half-mile to run in Saturday’s 146th Travers Stakes at raucous Saratoga, trainer Bob Baffert knew his Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, was in trouble. The body language emanating from jockey Victor Espinoza and how hard he had to ride the horse to keep him in front was telling.

Three furlongs later, with an eighth of a mile remaining in the race and the pace-prompting Frosted vanquished, the guts and heart that American Pharoah only had to show perhaps once previously – in the Kentucky Derby – still had him in the lead. The crowd of 50,000-plus on another glorious summer day at this 2015 meet went delirious.

Except for those who looked behind American Pharoah and saw the presence of Keen Ice. With a spent American Pharoah shortening stride, Keen Ice was lengthening his under Javier Castellano, carrying him past American Pharoah 20 yards out from the wire and on to a three-quarters-of-a-length win in the Grade 1, $1.6 million Travers.

Frosted, who put early pressure on American Pharoah, finished third and was followed by Upstart and Texas Red. Frammento and Smart Transition dead-heated for sixth. Tale of Verve, Mid Ocean, and King of New York brought up the rear.

American Pharoah’s loss brought most of the crowd to its knees and knocked the wind out of the sails of owner Ahmed Zayat, his family, and Baffert.

So rocked by the loss was Zayat that, without talking with his trainer or family, he said at a post-race press conference that his “gut feeling is to retire him.”

It’s not an official decision. Zayat was flying back to Southern California Saturday night with his family and jockey Victor Espinoza. There are conversations to be had later with Baffert, but a downtrodden Zayat seemed at a loss about what to do.

“My gut’s saying if the horse shows us that he’s not the Pharoah I know, then there’s no question in my mind what I think is to retire him,” Zayat said. “He doesn’t owe anybody anything.”

American Pharoah’s Triple Crown sweep, the first in 37 years, transcended horse racing, putting him in the mainstream media and bringing the sport worldwide attention. He brought a record crowd to Monmouth Park for the Haskell Invitational on Aug. 2, and approximately 15,000 people came to see him gallop at Saratoga on Friday morning.

American Pharoah, the 1-5 favorite, looked like the lone speed on paper in the Travers, and after breaking cleanly under Espinoza, he opened up a one-length lead in 24.28 seconds. Somewhat surprisingly, Frosted became his closest pursuer.

Frosted was ridden by Jose Lezcano, who picked up the mount when Joel Rosario fell off his mount, Bourbon Courage, in the Grade 1 Forego.

Rosario went to Albany Medical Center complaining of back pain, though X-rays proved negative, according to his agent, Ron Anderson.

Kiaran McLaughlin, the trainer of Frosted, said in his box before the horses entered the gate that he would like to see his horse fifth under the wire the first time.

But Lezcano allowed Frosted to take him into the race, and he was within a half-length of American Pharoah after a half-mile in 48.30 seconds and within a head after six furlongs in 1:11.48.

Entering the far turn, Lezcano had Frosted right alongside American Pharoah. Espinoza claimed he felt Frosted’s chest hit his horse’s hip, and “he turned me sideways,” altering American Pharoah’s stride. Espinoza said Frosted hit him five or six times, though replays don’t bear that out.

Said Lezcano: “He started to get out a little bit, and he touched my horse. I never crossed the line. I never touched him.”

Frosted put his head in front of American Pharoah turning for home, but American Pharoah battled back along the rail and put away Frosted by the eighth pole.

But even with Espinoza keeping after Pharoah, he could not hold off Keen Ice, who won for just the second time in 11 career starts.

“Going into the far turn, I could tell he was struggling a little bit. [Frosted] was really lapped on him, and I thought, ‘He’s really going to have to fight now,’ ” Baffert said. “I could tell right there he was just running on pure guts right there. He did that in the Derby, and we got away with it. When he had to get after him like that; he shouldn’t even have to get after Pharoah. Right then, I thought, ‘Wow. It’s easy to second-guess yourself.”

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Keen Ice, a son of Curlin owned by Jerry Crawford’s Donegal Racing and trained by Dale Romans, covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.57 and returned $34. Keen Ice gave Castellano a record fifth Travers victory.

“Turning for home, when I saw those horses had hooked up on the lead for a while, I said, ‘At some point, they have to stop,’ and when they started backing up a little bit, I thought to myself, ‘I think I got it,’ ” said Castellano, who was riding Keen Ice for the first time. “It feels so great to win this race. Unfortunately, you have to beat the best horse in the country.”

The best horse in the country with an uncertain future.

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Honor Code Catches Liam’s

Map Late in Whitney

By Tom LaMarra,

Honor Code caught early leader Liam’s Map in the final strides to win the $1.25 million Whitney Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 8 at Saratoga Race Course. Watch Video

The 4-year-old ridgling from the final crop of A.P. Indy registered his second straight major victory in New York. Honor Code won the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) June 6 at Belmont Park. He’s owned by Lane’s End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm.

The Whitney is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 31 at Keeneland.

Honor Code, as he often does, dropped well off the pace early in the Whitney as Liam’s Map jumped to the front and ended up with an uncontested lead. That may have been the result of the fractions; the speedy 4-year-old Unbridled’s Song colt went :22.79 for the opening quarter-mile, :46 for the half-mile, and a sharp 1:09.72 for six furlongs.

Liam’s Map was tracked by Moreno and Noble Bird for more than six furlongs, and though it appeared the pace would take its toll on the leader, it didn’t. He opened up into the stretch, and after one mile in 1:34.66, the rallying Honor Code appeared to be the only foe with a chance.

Even the connections of Honor Code had some doubt he could catch the front-runner, but he did in the shadow of the wire. Honor Code nailed Liam’s Map by a neck. Tonalist, the slight favorite, was 2 1/2 lengths back in third, followed by Wicked Strong.

The final time for the distance was a strong 1:47.82 on a fast track.

“I don’t have anything to do on my horse; that’s his style,” Castellano said. “At the three-eighths pole I felt like he was going to go to the leader, but at the quarter pole he didn’t kick off. I had to use him a little bit. When he got to the eighth pole, he switched leads at the right place at the right time.”

The Whitney drew a field of 10 that was reduced to nine with the scratch of Coach Inge. The field was considered one of the best assembled this year.

“It’s incredible because of the field, which had seven grade I winners,” said Bill Farish of Lane’s End. “Liam’s Map ran his eyeballs out, and it didn’t look like he was backing up at all. I didn’t think (Honor Code) would catch him, but he just gobbles up ground so much.”

Farish said he’s not sure about the next race for Honor Code, who this year has won the grade I Metropolitan Handicap at the one-turn-mile distance and the Whitney at 1 1/8 miles around two turns.

“This race has been the goal since the Met Mile,” Farish said. “I’m also glad he put to rest any doubts about him (racing well) around two turns. There couldn’t help but be questions in our mind about it.”

McGaughey was both happy and relieved—on a few fronts.

“I thought with the early fractions they might back up a little bit,” he said. “But I misjudged it and (at the sixteenth pole), I looked up and said, ‘Oh, man.’ It was a spectacular race by a spectacular horse.

“People have always held him in high regard, but they wondered if he could run around two turns. He has got some quirks about him, so the question was whether he could overcome them. I guess he answered all that today.”

Todd Pletcher, who trains Liam’s Map, was impressed with his horse’s race as well as the victory by Honor Code.

“I could see Honor Code was coming, so I knew it would be really close until the finish,” Pletcher said. He ran unbelievably well, setting those fractions to start and being there to the end. He just couldn’t hold off a really good horse.”

Honor Code now has six wins and two seconds in eight starts.

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American Pharoah thrills in dominant Haskell victory
By Jay Privman

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Is it possible for a horse to win the Triple Crown and keep getting better? It certainly looked that way Sunday at Monmouth Park as American Pharoah, in his first start since becoming the sport’s 12th Triple Crown winner two months ago, embarrassed a field of accomplished stakes horses with an overpowering victory in the Grade 1, $1.75 million Haskell Invitational.

American Pharoah ($2.20) officially won by 2 1/4 lengths, but the margin could have been a lot more as he was up by five and drawing away with a furlong to go before jockey Victor Espinoza brought him to a common canter in the final 150 yards as the record crowd of 60,983 roared.

“He ran like a champ,” Espinoza said. “The others can’t keep up with the high speed he has. Today, turning for home, the others were struggling. He has having fun. Me too. We both were having fun.”

Keen Ice rallied for second, three lengths in front of Upstart. Competitive Edge, the early pacesetter, faded to fourth and was followed in order by Top Clearance, Dontbetwithbruno, and Mr. Jordan. Nonna’s Boy was scratched.

American Pharoah completed 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:47.95. He was lapped on Competitive Edge through fractions of 23.22 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.14 for a half, and 1:09.60 for six furlongs before surging aggressively to the lead with three furlongs to go. He passed the mile mark in 1:34.44 as Espinoza began to downshift.

American Pharoah continued the remarkable Haskell record of trainer Bob Baffert, who now has won the race a record eight times, including five of the last six.

Though based in California, American Pharoah has raced at five tracks outside that state this year, but he adapts wherever he goes. He was becalmed in the paddock, where actor Bill Murray gave the command for riders up by saying, “Gentlemen, we’re burning daylight. Riders up!”

As the field came on the track, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” played over the loudspeakers, a Haskell tradition. The only horse who seemed startled by the crowd’s singing and cheering was Keen Ice. For American Pharoah, it was business as usual.

Baffert had continued his own Haskell Day tradition by heading to nearby Max’s Hot Dogs for lunch earlier in the day. As post time neared, though, he said his nerves got to him.

“I was feeling that Max’s Hot Dog,” Baffert said.

American Pharoah looked a winner every step of the way. He looked as if he could take Competitive Edge any time he wanted.

“What can you do? The other horse is just too good,” said Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Competitive Edge.

As the field came through the stretch, Baffert said he initially was worried Espinoza had taken too much of a hold before the wire.

“Look back, dude,” he said, watching a replay.

After the race, Espinoza, as he did at the Belmont Stakes, took American Pharoah up the stretch so fans could get another look at him before heading to the winner’s circle.

The trophy presentation included New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was vociferously booed by the crowd when introduced.

Those boos turned to cheers immediately when Ahmed Zayat, the owner and breeder of American Pharoah, was presented with the Haskell trophy and held it over his head.

“I’m extremely proud and humbled,” Zayat said. “It’s a privilege. “This is a superstar. He’s touched everybody’s heart.”

By then, all the anxiousness of the American Pharoah camp had turned to joy and relief.

“I didn’t want to let the crowd down,” Baffert said. “There was pressure. I’d never been in this situation [running a Triple Crown winner]. The last thing I wanted to do was embarrass the horse.”

As Baffert spoke afterward to NBC Sports, he began to choke up.“This horse, he just keeps bringing it,” he said as his voice caught. “I get emotional. He’s just a great horse.”

American Pharoah now has won eight straight races since losing his debut exactly 51 weeks ago. He now has won seven Grade 1 races, including five straight this year – the Arkansas Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, and Haskell.

As to where he’ll go next, Zayat said he had “no clue,” though at a post-race press conference, Baffert said he would prefer to keep American Pharoah against 3-year-olds for now. If that is the case, the obvious options are the Travers later this month and the Pennsylvania Derby next month.

American Pharoah will return to Del Mar on Monday before Zayat, his son, Justin – the stable’s racing manager – and Baffert decide where to go next. The Travers is at the top of the Zayats’s wish list, but both the Zayats and Baffert have repeatedly said, “The horse comes first,” and they repeated that mantra Sunday.

“When I get home, I’m sure Del Mar will put a lot of pressure on us, too,” Baffert said, referring to the Pacific Classic, which is in 20 days and against older runners.

“We’ll get him home first, see how he bounces out of it,” Baffert said. “We’ll just play it race by race.”

Baffert is cognizant of American Pharoah’s place in history. He wants him to continue to shine.

“As long as he’s still at the top level, I’ll lead him up there,” Baffert said. “As long as he’s at the top of his game, that’s my main concern. We have something really special We owe it to him.”

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Moreno faces deep field in Whitney title defense
By David Grening

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – We interrupt the delirium that is American Pharoah-mania to present a pretty sweet race for the older males in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.25 million Whitney Stakes at Saratoga.

Seven of the 10 expected entrants for the Whitney, which offers a fees-paid berth into the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, are Grade 1 winners, including last year’s Whitney winner, Moreno, who could be sent off at double-digit odds in this year’s renewal.

Lea, the 2014 Donn Handicap winner, completed preparations for the Whitney on Monday by working a half-mile in 49.70 seconds over the Oklahoma training track. Lea, the runner-up to fellow Whitney entrant Noble Bird in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap last out, went in quarter-mile fractions of 25.47 seconds and 24.23 under mild encouragement from exercise rider Neil Poznansky.

“That’s him,” trainer Bill Mott said of Lea.

Mott had the Whitney in mind for Lea last year. But following his victory in the Donn, Lea got sick and eventually was forced to miss the remainder of his 5-year-old season.

“His system didn’t come back to normal parameters for a long time,” Mott said. “We could have probably run at the end of the year, but we said, ‘Let’s forget this, get back to Florida, start there,’ which was a good decision.”

Lea won the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope in January and finished second to the Gulfstream Park-loving Constitution in the Donn in February. Lea then went to the United Arab Emirates, where he finished third behind Prince Bishop and California Chrome in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Lea recovered quickly from the Dubai trip and ran in the Stephen Foster on June 13, falling a neck short to Noble Bird.

“We didn’t win, but if it was nine furlongs and two jumps, we would have,” Mott said.

As of Monday, the 10 expected for the Whitney were, with riders, Coach Inge (Irad Ortiz Jr.), Honor Code (Javier Castellano), Lea (Joel Rosario), Liam’s Map (Mike Smith), Moreno (Cornelio Velasquez), Noble Bird (Shaun Bridgmohan), Normandy Invasion (Kerwin Clark), Tonalist (John Velazquez), V. E. Day (Junior Alvarado), and Wicked Strong (Luis Saez).

On Sunday, Metropolitan Handicap winner Honor Code had a bit of an adventurous morning before working a half-mile in 50.37 seconds over the main track. He was initially going to breeze on the Oklahoma training track but refused to break off and work. Trainer Shug McGaughey then had exercise rider Lena Lorieul take Honor Code to the main track, where he worked without incident.

McGaughey said he still intends to run Honor Code in the Whitney, though he added, “We’ll see what kind of week he has and take it from there.”

Moreno, the winner of the Charles Town Classic in April, is coming off an eighth-place finish in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 27. Moreno, who worked six furlongs in 1:11.20 last Friday at Los Alamitos, was scheduled to ship to New York on Tuesday.

Normandy Invasion, second in two starts since returning from a layoff, worked four furlongs in 48.40 seconds Monday at Delaware Park.

The post-position draw for the Whitney was to be held Tuesday at Sperry’s, a popular downtown restaurant, at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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Thought you all might enjoy the pictures below…

American Pharoah is A Champion and a Sweetheart! 
Cutline: Dr. William McGee, a 98-year-old former veterinarian who has seen and treated several Triple Crown winners, met and fed carrots to Zayat Stables’ Triple Crown winner American Pharoah on Friday, June 12, 2015 at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Ky. The Bob Baffert-trained 3-year-old became horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner – and first since Affirmed in 1978 – in the June 6 Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah is scheduled to gallop Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Later that evening, he’ll be paraded before fans at Churchill Downs’ “Downs After Dark” 11-race program around 8 p.m. ET and his connections will received their engraved Kentucky Derby 141 trophies after Race 6 at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET.

PHOTO 20150612 98yo Dr William McGee feeds American Pharoah carrots

Don’t tell me he’s coming out of retirement??? LOL…

Jerry visited Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah this morning…said he looked awesome…

Had a great visit with the whole team including Bobbie and Jill’s handsome son Bodie.

Being such a ferocious competitor American Pharoah has such a sweet disposition off the track!

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American Pharoah Wins Belmont,

Becomes 12th Triple Crown Winner
By Jay Privman

ELMONT, N.Y. – To months in a year, inches in a foot, signs of the Zodiac, members of a jury, and days of Christmas, the number 12 now includes Triple Crown winners.
American Pharoah put an emphatic exclamation point on the 2015 Triple Crown with a runaway victory Saturday at Belmont Park in the 147th Belmont Stakes, romping by 5 1/2 lengths in front of a crowd of 90,000 that included former President Bill Clinton.

He thus ended the longest drought in Triple Crown history, 37 years, since Affirmed in 1978. And he proved that, indeed, this feat is achievable, as long as a horse comes along capable of doing it.

American Pharoah is only the fourth Triple Crown winner since 1948, when Citation swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont, the fourth horse to do so that decade. There was a 25-year gap until Secretariat in 1973, the first of three Triple Crown winners during that decade.

But in the years since Affirmed, 13 horses prior to American Pharoah had won Derby and Preakness but could not complete the sweep. The cumulative effect of three races in five weeks, plus the preps, proved too high a hurdle to clear.

American Pharoah cleared it and was the only horse this year who competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown.

This was the fourth attempt at a Triple Crown for trainer Bob Baffert, who had failed with Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and War Emblem. And it was the third try for Victor Espinoza, who failed with War Emblem and California Chrome.

Their failed bid 13 years ago in concert with War Emblem is now a fading memory, as American Pharoah – bred and owned by Ahmed Zayat – ran his way into the record books in a performance that left no doubt as to his superiority.

American Pharoah was rocking back and forth after loading into the gate, and a split-second before the gate opened, he started to go back again, but he still broke decently, then was hustled aggressively by Espinoza to make the lead before the runners reached the first turn.

“He kinda sat back, but in two jumps, he was right on the lead,” Espinoza said.

After that, it was a parade. “I had the best feeling ever on the first turn,” Espinoza said. American Pharoah combines raw speed with uncanny sensibility, and he rocked along on the front end setting comfortable fractions of 48.83 seconds for a half-mile, 1:13.41 for six furlongs, and 1:37.99 for a mile.

“You don’t even feel he is going that fast,” Espinoza said.

It was clear, midway on the final turn, that Espinoza had plenty of horse under him. Frosted got closest in upper stretch, but then Espinoza let American Pharoah storm home, and he put daylight between himself and the rest of the field with a final quarter-mile in 24.32 seconds to cover 1 1/2 miles on the fast main track in 2:26.65.

As the favorite, he paid $3.50 to win, but quite a few of those $2 win tickets will never be cashed and will instead become souvenirs.

Frosted held second, two lengths in front of third-place Keen Ice. Mubtaahij was fourth and was followed by Frammento, Madefromlucky, Tale of Verve, and Materiality.

The win was the seventh straight for American Pharoah, who lost his debut last year and is unbeaten since. He was named the champion 2-year-old male of 2014 and has won all five of his starts this year.

Zayat bred American Pharoah by uniting his sire Pioneerof the Nile with his mare Littleprincessemma, a daughter of Yankee Gentleman.

“He’s just an amazing horse,” Espinoza said. “It’s unbelievable how things work out. I have so much confidence in American Pharoah.”

“Everybody came to see something great,” Baffert said at a post-race press conference, “and we witnessed it.”

For Baffert, a flood of emotions came over him. He watched the race with all five of his children – four from his first marriage and his young son, Bode – but said his thoughts during the race drifted to his parents, Bill Sr. and Ellie, both of whom died in recent years. His father, a trainer operating out of Nogales, Ariz., was instrumental in getting Baffert interested in racing. Baffert lovingly refers to him as “Chief.”

“This is very emotional,” Baffert told NBC’s Kenny Rice immediately after the race. “I was thinking about my parents. I wish they’d have been here to see this. People kept asking me how I’d feel. I didn’t know how I’d feel. Now I know.”

Baffert said the Triple Crown was swept by American Pharoah because “it takes a great horse to do it.”

“You have to have the horse,” he said. “He’s a very special horse. I didn’t win it. He’s the one that won it.”

When American Pharoah came back toward the grandstand after pulling up after the race, Espinoza took him all the way up the stretch so that fans seated throughout the grandstand could see him one last time before he headed to the winner’s circle. Just 20 miles from Manhattan, it was racing’s version of a Broadway bow.

As American Pharoah was brought down Belmont Park’s victory lane toward the winner’s circle, track announcer Larry Collmus introduced him to the crowd as “racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner,” and the fans let out an appreciative roar.

The winner’s circle was chaotic, with photographers pressing forward, security and other officials trying to hold them back, those associated with American Pharoah trying to position themselves for the winner’s-circle picture, and, in the midst of it all, a 3-year-old colt who, remarkably, never got anxious.

It had taken 37 years for this moment, and if it took a few more minutes to get a picture taken, American Pharoah was more than happy to oblige. He had done everything else.

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As American Pharoah came out of the far turn and squared his shoulders to let his rider Victor Espinoza stare down the long withering stretch of Belmont Park, a sense of inevitability surged through this mammoth old grandstand. The fans in a capacity crowd strained on the tips of their toes and let out a roar from deep in their souls. It was going to end, finally — this 37-year search for a great racehorse.

No, a battered old sport was looking for an immortal thoroughbred, one worthy to stand alongside Sir Barton and Assault, War Admiral and Whirlaway, Count Fleet and Citation, a horse able to earn the title of a Triple Crown champion.

The Triple Crown trophy, which was commissioned in 1950 by the Thoroughbred Racing Association and created by Cartier jewelers.An Elusive Trophy, Gleaming Through the Smudges of Hands and LipsJUNE 6, 2015
John A. Nerud, 102, was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1972.A Storied Trainer and a Witness to HistoryJUNE 6, 2015
The crowded platform at Belmont Station after last year’s race. The Long Island Rail Road made improvements to the station that were intended to help ease the crowding this year.Adjustments Ease Crowd at RacetrackJUNE 6, 2015
Victor Espinoza, center right, and California Chrome fell short of a Triple Crown last year.Divine Intervention Is a Hope, Not a Horse, in the BelmontJUNE 6, 2015
An exercise rider with a riding crop at Belmont Park.Every Lash of a Whip Adds to Urgency for Its CriticsJUNE 5, 2015
Pioneerof the Nile, American Pharoah’s sire, stood in his pasture before an afternoon breeding recently at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky.Turn-Ons: Peppermints, Cool Breezes. Turnoffs: Mares Who Move Too Fast.JUNE 5, 2015
Strong Impact with his loyal stall companion, Charlie the pig, at Belmont Park. Animal pals are often used to help soothe nervous thoroughbreds.Barnyard Buddies Curl Up at BelmontJUNE 4, 2015
There had been only 11 of them in history, and America had elected five presidents, fought three wars and lived through at least three economic downturns since Affirmed had last completed the feat in 1978. In the interim, 12 other very good racehorses had pulled into the starting gate at this grand old racetrack on Long Island with a chance to become the next great horse, only to fall short at the hands of a great rival, as Sunday Silence did to Easy Goer in 1989 or as Real Quiet did in 1998 in a heartbreaking photo finish, or to find the mile-and-a-half distance of the Belmont Stakes just too much, as California Chrome did last year.
But as American Pharoah bounded into the stretch amid a deafening roar, the memories of the gritty Affirmed, the speedy Seattle Slew (1977) and that tremendous machine Secretariat (1973) were summoned from backside to grandstand, and rightfully so.

No one doubted that American Pharoah was about to enter the history books. He was bouncing down the lane as if jumping from one trampoline to another, and no one was going to catch him.

The colt’s trainer, Bob Baffert, was transported. He, too, had previously come here certain that he had a horse that belonged among the giants of racing, only to feel his heart ascend to his throat. In 1997, Silver Charm had been caught two jumps before the wire by Touch Gold, a rival he did not see. In 1998, Baffert watched as Victory Gallop got a half-nostril ahead of Real Quiet at the wire. In 2002, he watched War Emblem stumble out of the gate and lose any chance to win.

Baffert had watched Secretariat win the Belmont by 31 lengths on a little television in Arizona with his father, Bill. He remembered that moment and wished that his parents were still alive to see this. Suddenly, he was a fan rather than a Hall of Fame trainer.
“The crowd was just thundering,” he said. “I was enjoying the crowd and the noise and everything happening.”

In the saddle, Espinoza felt a rush that had twice eluded him. He was on California Chrome last year and War Emblem for Baffert, only to remember how two very good colts staggered beneath him and the collective gasp of more than 100,000 disappointed people rustled within him.

But not this time — Espinoza dropped the reins on his colt and let the muscled bay take him home. When he was a boy in his native Mexico, Espinoza had been afraid of horses. Now, at 43, he knew they were a gift. Beneath him, American Pharoah’s strides were getting longer and longer, but Espinoza felt as if he were riding on a cloud.

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American Pharoah WINS the 12th Triple Crown

 and ends the longest drought between victors.

Espinoza was confident entering the Kentucky Derby. American Pharoah, after all, had been the 2-year-old champion. He was exuberant three weeks ago in Baltimore at the Preakness, when the skies opened up before the race and gave American Pharoah the sloppy racetrack that he prefers and skims over like a jet ski.

But Espinoza was even more confident Saturday in the jockeys’ room, and then downright cocky after he met Baffert in the paddock.

“He’s ready,” Baffert told him. “Ride him with confidence.”

When American Pharoah leaned back in the gate as the bell rang and the doors opened, the colt broke a step slow. Espinoza did not even worry. Within the first two jumps, American Pharoah had catapulted ahead of his seven rivals and glided into the first turn like a marble circling a roulette wheel.
“He was right in the lead where I wanted to be, in front of everybody,” Espinoza said.

Materiality gave chase for a mile, but American Pharoah picked up his tempo and shook that rival off at the mile.

“Steady, steady,” Espinoza said to himself.

Mubtaahij, from Dubai, took a run at him on the far turn, but got within only three lengths before peeling back. Revving up outside him, however, was the late-running Frosted. His jockey, Joel Rosario, scrubbed the gray colt’s neck and got within four, three and two and a half lengths, but then American Pharoah stretched his stride as if he were elastic and snapped off to a four-length lead. When Espinoza crossed the finish line five and a half lengths ahead, he finally allowed a smile to curl at the corner of his mouth and a raucous celebration to reverberate deep in his bones.

In the record books, it will say American Pharoah covered the marathon distance in 2 minutes 26.65 seconds, paid his backers $3.50 on a $2 bet and fattened his earnings to more than $4.5 million for his owner, Ahmed Zayat.

But as Espinoza galloped American Pharoah the length of the grandstand and let a thunderstruck crowd, many with tears in their eyes, cheer the ethereal performance of a once-in-a-lifetime athlete, he could barely catch his breath.

“Wow,” he told the outrider alongside him. “Wow. He’s just an amazing horse.”

Horse lovers and horse players alike have waited a long time to hear that.






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What’s Next for American Pharoah?

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will likely retire at the end of the year.

But even after winning millions on the track, he may stand to earn more in stud fees.


Look like a Winner throughout the Thoroughbred Racing Season!




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Men’s  Derby Attire:

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Womens  Derby Attire:

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The Kentucky Derby is a chance for every female to express her inner Southern Belle

so take note and don’t hold back when planning your Derby fashion!



Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is believed to bear good luck! The long-established fashion was started by the women, however, over the last few years, many men have taken part in the tradition as well. Wearing a hat is much like getting into costume, you might be pleasantly surprised to see what type of character you become. From the fantastic to the sublime, there are no rules or limits. In the clubhouse and paddock, women of grace and taste sport classy, fashionable styles. In the infield, the headwear has tendancy to take on a zanier character.

Within the seated sections of Churchill Downs, you will find hats of elegance and style. Generally speaking, women wear wide-brimmed, “Southern Belle” inspired Kentucky Derby hats. The hats can be decorated with flowers, feathers, bows and ribbons of any color to express creativity and individuality. Men’s Derby hats are generally solid in color and inspired by the style from the 1920s.

In the Churchill Downs Infield, hats are a bit more eccentric! You will see hats in all shapes and sizes, as well as some hats exuding humorous themes!

Sure you can have a custom hat created if you want to splurge, but you can also make an elegant hat using materials from around the house and garden. Not to mention make a visit to your local craft shop for your decorating needs. This will create a buzz with your friends and family, perhaps even win a contest!

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Dress or Hat – Which Comes First?
You can exhale – there are two answers here!

Some will say that you absolutely get the outfit first. Then you design your hat to go with the outfit. (The arguement here is that it’s easier to custom design a hat than to “make” an outfit to go with a hat!)

Then there are those who say that you must definitely purchase, create or design your hat before picking out the outfit.

Most often in this case, matching the dress (or outfit) to your hat involves personal preference, however keep a few things in mind in getting dressed:

* If your hat is having a pattern party, keep the dress design simple.
* If the hat is simple and elegant, keep the outfit simple also for a classy look.
* If you want a funky outfit, keep it consistent and accent the hat most of all!
* If you have long hair, showcase a ponytail slightly to side or keep it down to one side to highlight the color on your face. Or opt for a French Twist,..pull out a few trendles!

You will find lots of debate on this subject– so finally the NO answer is THE answer!

(And remember ladies…you will get Hat Hair…especially after a Long Hot Day!…Do prepare!

Unless you wear a fascinator …see below)

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Party Idea – Best Dressed Hat Contest

If you’re having a Kentucky Derby Party, consider having a Best Dressed hat contest. Celebrate your guests efforts with the following categories:

* Biggest Hat
* Best Derby Inspired
* Best Men’s Hat


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For help with your Derby Style

click here

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Did You Know?

Kentucky and Louisville’s early racing history

Racing in Louisville dates back to 1783 when local sources reported that races were held on Market Street in the downtown area. To alleviate the problems associated with racing on the busy city thoroughfare, a course was developed at the now abandoned Shippingport Island in 1805. Racing was cond1ucted on the island in the Ohio River at what was called the Elm Tree Gardens.

By 1827, a new track, known as the Hope Distillery Course, was laid out on what is presently Main and 16th Streets. Racing was also held on a number of private tracks located on farms throughout the local area. One of the more prominent of these was Peter Funk’s Beargrass Track which was located in an area now bordered by Hurstbourne Lane and Taylorsville Road.

The Oakland Race Course was opened in the fall of 1833 and brought racing back to a formal site with the track, complete with clubhouse, located at what is now Seventh and Magnolia Streets in “Old Louisville”. This was followed in 1858 by the opening of the Woodlawn Course on the Louisville and Lexington railroad lines just outside of today’s St. Matthews, east of Louisville. The site closed in 1870, but the Woodlawn Vase, the track’s premier trophy, has been used in the presentation to the winner of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico since 1917.

Harness racing was also a significant part of Louisville’s early racing history with a number of tracks in existence. One of the most prominent was Greeneland, a racecourse for trotters was built just east of Churchill Downs in 1868.

The Founding of Churchill Downs

While traveling in England and France in 1872-1873, 26-year-old Col. M. Lewis Clark, devised the idea of a Louisville Jockey Club for conducting race meets. Clark toured and visited with a number of prominent racing leaders, including England’s Admiral Rous and France’s Vicompte Darn, vice president of the French Jockey Club.

Upon his return from Europe, Clark began development of his racetrack which would serve to showcase the Kentucky breeding industry. The track would eventually become known as “Churchill Downs.” The first reference of the name Churchill Downs came in an 1883 Kentucky Derby article reported by the former Louisville Commercial.

“The crowd in the grand stand sent out a volume of voice, and the crowd in the field took it up and carried it from boundary to boundary of Churchill Downs.”

The track was incorporated as Churchill Downs in 1937.

The first public notice of establishment of the track was reported in the May 27, 1874 edition of the Courier-Journal. The notice was met with some objections because another track had already been proposed by the Falls City Racing Association for a site near the river just east of downtown Louisville. Clark and a group of prominent Louisville gentlemen met at the Galt House on June 18, 1874 to prepare articles of incorporation with the actual filing for the Louisville Jockey Club and Driving Park Association taking place on June 20.

To fund the construction of the track, Clark raised $32,000 by selling 320 membership subscriptions to the track at $100 each. Eighty acres of land, approximately three miles south of downtown were leased from Clark’s uncles, John and Henry Churchill. A clubhouse, grandstand, porter’s lodge and six stables were all eventually constructed on the site for the opening of the track.

For his inaugural race meet, Clark designed his three major stakes races, the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Clark Handicap, after the three premier races in England, the Epsom Derby, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes, respectively. These events have each been held continuosly at Churchill since their debut in 1875. However, in 1953, the Clark was moved from the spring to the fall meet. The Falls City was also offered during the inaugural meet and after four interruptions, the race continues to be held.

The track formally opened May 17, 1875 with four races scheduled. The winner of the first race was Bonaventure, however the winner of the day’s featured race, the Kentucky Derby, was a three-year-old chestnut colt, Aristides. Owned by H.P. McGrath, Aristides was trained by and ridden by two African-Americans, Ansel Williamson and Oliver Lewis, respectively.

Despite the success of the first Kentucky Derby, the track was not financially successful and on November 24, 1894 the New Louisville Jockey Club was incorporated. William F. Schulte was appointed president and Clark was retained as presiding judge for the track.

Under Schulte, a new grandstand was constructed during fall 1894 – spring 1895 on the opposite side of the track for a reported cost of $100,000. The grandstand was complemented by two spires constructed atop the roof. The twin spires, a simple architectural element, would become the symbol of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.

1874 — Col. M. Lewis Clark begins rescue of Kentucky’s declining stock farm. Develops Louisville Jockey Club on land secured from his uncles John and Henry Churchill.

1875 — An estimated 10,000 watch the first Kentucky Derby on May 17, the opening day of the meet.

1883 — The name “Churchill Downs” is first used in a report on the ninth Derby by the Louisville Commerical newspaper.

1889 — Pari-mutuel machines discarded at demand of bookmakers who tell Col. Clark machines are cutting into their business.

1894 — Group headed by W. F. Schulte purchase the track and incorporate as the New Louisville Jockey Club. They build a 285-foot grandstand on the other side of the track.

1895 — A new grandstand, topped by the Twin Spires, greet the May 6 Derby crowd.

1896 — Derby shortened from 1 1/2 to l 1/4 miles. The reasoning, distance is too long for 3-year-olds so early in the spring.

1899 — Founder Clark is a pistol suicide in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 22, just 12 days before 25th Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs Tightens Security Measures Ahead

of 141st Oaks and Derby Days;

Will No Longer Allow Re-entry to Track for Ticketed Guests
by John Asher | Churchill Downs | 04/09/2015 

Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) will no longer allow re-entry on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks days for ticketed patrons who leave the grounds during those racing and entertainment programs.

The policy will be in effect beginning with this year’s renewals of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2 and the $1 million-guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1. Churchill Downs announced the policy change with the release of its annual update of items that are either permitted for carry-in at the admission gates or prohibited on each of those days.

The list of items that cannot be carried into the track by guests on Kentucky Oaks and Derby days was expanded to include selfie sticks and remote-controlled aircraft, including drones.

The end of re-entry by ticketed patrons to the track on Derby and Oaks days grew out of security issues regarding wait times at entry gates and growing concern for patrons victimized by the sale of counterfeit tickets and wristbands outside track gates.

“The decision to prohibit re-entry to ticketed patrons who leave the grounds is a common security policy at major sports and entertainment events and is long overdue at the home of the Kentucky Oaks and Derby,” said Ryan Jordan, General Manager of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “This change in policy is intended to improve the arrival experience of our guests by shortening the entry lines into the facility and to better safeguard our guests from purchasing counterfeit tickets outside of our gates.

“Our previous re-entry policy made it a fairly simple task for ticketed patrons to exit the track and quickly generate copies of their tickets and wristbands for sale outside of our grounds. Those who purchase counterfeit items are denied access when they arrive at our admission gates, and thus have lost their money and, in many cases, the Kentucky Derby and Oaks experience they had hoped for either becomes an unpleasant memory or is ended altogether.”

The addition of selfie sticks, and remote-controlled aircraft to the roster of prohibited items also grew out an increase in the popularity of drones and concern for the safety of Derby and Oaks Day patrons, the horses competing in races those days, and participating horsemen and members of their respective staffs.

Patrons who arrive at Churchill Downs admission gates with prohibited items will be required to return them to their vehicles or dispose of them. The track and its security partners do not store prohibited or excluded items for pick-up later in the day.

Churchill Downs also has made a change in the Kentucky Derby and Oaks Day admission process at Gate 3, a popular entrance to the infield located near 4th Street and Central Avenue. Guests who use that gate will need to have their general admission tickets in hand before they approach that gate.

Derby and Oaks general admission tickets are currently available for online purchase at – $55 in advance online or $60 at the gate for the Derby, and $35 in advance or $40 at the gate for the Oaks. But patrons who wish to purchase those tickets on Oaks and Derby days will be required to do so at a sales center located at the track’s taxi cab lot at 4th and Central, which is located across 4th from Gate 3. Once their tickets are in-hand, those patrons will cross the street to enter Gate 3.

Like the new re-entry policy for ticketed patrons, the adjusted admission process at Gate 3 is designed to ease congestion at that entrance while shortening lines and accelerating entry to the infield

The complete lists of prohibited and permitted items can be viewed at the official event web sites at

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