Excitement is stirring in the racing world as Triple Crown winner American Pharoah shipped out to Saratoga on Wednesday, Aug. 26. American Pharoah and his entourage have at last ended speculation about “what’s next for the brilliant colt” by starting in the Travers. While Pharoah awaits the race day, he is stabling in trainer John Terranova’s barn.
The impressive Thoroughbred champion looked fit and rested when he boarded the plane early this morning. American Pharoah, at current odds of 1-5, is the overwhelming favorite in the solid 10-horse field starting from the second post. The Triple Crown winner’s fans and the racing crowd applaud the decision made by owner Ahmed Zayat and trainer Bob Baffert to run American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes. Consensus is that a Triple Crown winner takes on all talent, wherever that takes him.
American Pharoah comes into the Travers with an impressive triumph behind him in the Gr I William Hill Haskell Invitational.
The Travers Stakes has set the winnings at $1.6 million if American Pharoah officially runs in the race. If he does not start, the Travers purse goes back to $1.25 million.
Each of the 10 horses competing in the Travers will carry 126 pounds. This is the official field as of Aug. 26 given with post position, name of horse, owner, trainer, and then rider. The morning line odds are stated last.
1 Upstart/Ralph Evans, WinStar Farm/Richard Violette, Jr./rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. (15-1)
2 American Pharoah/Zayat Stables/Bob Baffert/rider Victor Espinoza (1-5)
3 Mid Ocean/Bermuda Limestone Thoroughbreds/George Weaver/rider Manny Franco (50-1)
4 Texas Red/Erich Brehm et al/Keith Desormeaux/rider Kent Desormeaux (6-1)
5 Frammento/Mossarosa/Nick Zito/rider Jose Ortiz (30-1)
6 Frosted/Godolphin Racing/Kiaran McLaughlin/rider Joel Rosario (6-1)
7 Keen Ice/Donegal Racing/Dale Romans/rider Javier Castellano (12-1)
8 Tale of Verve/Charles Fipke/Dallas Stewart/rider Gary Stevens (30-1)
9 King of New York/Harold Lerner/Ken McPeek/rider Julien Leparoux (50-1)
10 Smart Transition/Arnold Zetcher/John Shirreffs/rider John Velazquez (20-1)
Bob Baffert has frequently been quoted on everything concerning American Pharoah, his training, his future plans and his stud career, and so has owner Ahmed Zayat. Perhaps the following Baffert quote sums it up best:
Everything has to go smooth for him. We don’t take anything for granted. We’re coming in there ready. We’re just treating it like it’s another big-time race, which it is. You still need some racing luck.
In two days, on Aug. 28, an exclusive training session is scheduled for Travers horses at 8:45 to 9:00 a.m. ET. Fans are given the incomparable chance to watch Triple Crown champion American Pharoah gallop. Per the track: “No admission will be charged for those entering the track for the training session.”
The New York Racing Association previously decided to cap attendance at 50,000. All reserved seats as well as general attendance are sold out; it will be impossible to gain entrance without a ticket. Gates open for ticket-holding patrons at 7:00 a.m. and first post time is set at 11:45 a.m. The Travers Stakes post time is 5:46 p.m.
NBC will broadcast a special two-hour telecast starting at 4:00 p.m.
All systems are go!