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American Pharoah receives hero's welcome upon return to Santa Anita

Sports / Horse Racing /

It was a Hollywood-like welcome for a true equine star..

There were flashing lights, a police escort, a helicopter providing live TV coverage and close to 100 media and racing insiders waiting to greet the van carrying Triple Crown winner American Pharoah as he returned to trainer Bob Baffert's barn at Santa Anita on Thursday.

With a cloudless...Read more

American Pharoah looks strong in return to track after Triple Crown win

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Even as the lives of those around him have been wonderfully altered by his Triple Crown achievement, champion American Pharoah was his same old, visually inspiring self Friday morning as he went back to the track for the first time since completing his sweep of the American classics in Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

With regular ...Read more

Trainer Bob Baffert wants to share American Pharoah with fans

Sports / Horse Racing /

Bob Baffert, the trainer of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, said Wednesday during a media gathering at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., that the 3-year-old would run again this year, but no decision has been made about when or where his next race will be.

"Our goal is to get to the Breeders' Cup," he said. "All kinds of tracks are ...Read more

After Triple Crown, horse racing 'in a little bit of awe' of American Pharoah

Sports / Horse Racing /

It simply took the right horse.

Just like everyone else, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert wondered if winning the Triple Crown had become impossible. Had the modern thoroughbred become too weak to handle the grind of three difficult races in five weeks? Were the fresh fields of competitors too much?

Then, he met a 2-year-old named American ...Read more

American Pharoah wins Belmont Stakes, completes Triple Crown

Sports / Horse Racing /

ELMONT, N.Y. -- Thirty-seven years of waiting ended with a ferocious charge down the homestretch.

Decades of near-misses and disappointment gave way to a horse that had a sense of history from the start.

On a spring afternoon when a gray sky turned sunny, American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes by more than five lengths to complete ...Read more

Honor Code scores upset in Met Mile

Sports / Horse Racing /

ELMONT, N.Y. -- Besides American Pharoah's pursuit of a Triple Crown, Belmont day had at least two other major elements to offer: money and Bayern.

The money was guaranteed.

On a day of 12 races, plus the $1.5 million Belmont, there were purses totaling an additional $6,332,000. Think of it as kind of a pretend Breeders' Cup.

There were six ...Read more

Alert on possible spoilers at Belmont

Sports / Horse Racing /

ELMONT, N.Y. -- With American Pharoah a 3-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $1.5-million Belmont Stakes, you'll need to bet the house on him to get a porch.

Obviously, there is more at stake than a $2 wager.

There hasn't been a Triple Crown in the sport since Affirmed in 1978, and Bob Baffert's Pharoah feels like a king in the making.

If ...Read more

Bob Baffert rides his favorite horse to relax before Belmont

Sports / Horse Racing /

NEW YORK -- Friday morning at Belmont Park brought one of the rarest sights of this Triple Crown season -- Bob Baffert on the back of a horse.

Though he was once a jockey and has guided the careers of some of the greatest thoroughbreds of the last 20 years, Baffert usually stays on the ground these days. His steed on this rare occasion was one ...Read more

Widow of Affirmed owner rooting for American Pharoah in Triple Crown quest

Sports / Horse Racing /

NEW YORK -- Thirty-seven years after a seismic event shook Belmont Park, Patrice Wolfson can still feel the aftershocks.

Wolfson is the South Florida-based widow of Louis Wolfson, the iconic Wall Street financier who owned Affirmed -- the last horse to capture all three legs of the Triple Crown.

"The crowd erupted; you couldn't stand," Wolfson...Read more

Bob Baffert has come a long way in horse racing

Sports / Horse Racing /

It takes only a minute or so to walk from the racetrack at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., to the barns in back.

Through the parking lot and down a dirt path, the man with the shock of white hair and ostrich-skin cowboy boots waves at everyone who calls his name.

People want to shake his hand and congratulate him. They all say pretty much...Read more

Horse racing aims not to downplay Triple Crown but to play up other events

Sports / Horse Racing /

The drumbeat begins every winter as horse racing lovers wonder whether the newest crop of 3-year-olds will finally produce a successor to Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed.

What mainstream attention the sport garners is overwhelmingly focused on the prospects for another Triple Crown winner. The interest in one storyline is such that ...Read more

American Pharoah draws fifth position in Belmont Stakes

Sports / Horse Racing /

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert nodded in approval as he heard American Pharoah will start from the No. 5 hole when he attempts to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in history in Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

"I've always liked the No. 5, always done well with it," Baffert said Wednesday at the post position draw for the Belmont, held in ...Read more

Trying to figure out reasons for Triple Crown drought is as elusive as winning all three races

Sports / Horse Racing /

As with most debates involving sports, there are varying reasons for the absence of a Triple Crown champion racehorse over the past 37 years. It has as much to do with bank accounts as bloodlines, yet trying to pinpoint the main reason is as elusive as the achievement itself.

Longtime horsemen and horsewomen point to the changing economics in ...Read more

Carpe Diem, The Truth Or Else out of running for Belmont

Sports / Horse Racing /

The list of potential challengers who will try and keep American Pharoah from sweeping the Triple Crown shrunk by two Monday as multiple Grade I winner Carpe Diem and The Truth Or Else were each declared out of Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

Carpe Diem, 10th in the Kentucky Derby, had worked 4 furlongs in 47.66 seconds at Belmont Park on May 29 and...Read more

Jockey Victor Espinoza amazed to get third shot at Triple Crown

Sports / Horse Racing /

The opportunity of a lifetime had supposedly come and gone for jockey Victor Espinoza. So as he sat in the lobby of Long Island's Garden City Hotel last June discussing the second chance fate had dropped in his hands, he took a measured moment for some reflection and acceptance.

"I think that this is probably my last time to be in this position...Read more

American Pharoah shows no fatigue in first gallop since Preakness win

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Jorge Alvarez was ready to feel something a little different beneath him Friday morning. Instead, the longtime exercise rider for trainer Bob Baffert said that if fatigue is setting in for dual classic winner American Pharoah, it's news to his hands.

In his second day back to the track and first gallop since his 7-length ...Read more

Moving Preakness would require change in state law, officials say

Sports / Horse Racing /

As city officials pledged a fight to keep the Preakness in Baltimore, others pointed out Monday that state law prohibits the horse race from being moved to another track in Maryland.

Over the weekend, Sal Sinatra, vice president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, floated the idea of moving the Preakness from Baltimore's Pimlico ...Read more

Preakness champion American Pharoah leaves Pimlico to ready for Belmont, Triple Crown

Sports / Horse Racing /

Horse racing's latest Triple Crown threat left the home of the series' middle jewel Monday morning.

American Pharoah, expected to try to become the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes since Affirmed in 1978, left Pimlico Race Course for Churchill Downs, where the 3-year-old colt will prepare for the June 6 ...Read more

11 things we learned from Preakness 2015

Sports / Horse Racing /

Here are some things we learned from Saturday's Preakness:

1. Baltimore can still throw a party. After weeks of national telecasts, headlines and news conferences focused on unrest in the city, Baltimore put on a much better face Saturday. Preakness Saturday offers the city an opportunity to shine in front of a national audience, and for all ...Read more

Preakness overnight TV ratings down on NBC

Sports / Horse Racing /

Overnight TV ratings for the Preakness were down year to year, according to Nielsen Media Research data provided by NBC Sports.

Last year's Preakness earned a 6.0 overnight ratings, while Saturday's race did a 5.8.

The overnight rating in 2012 was 5.5. The highest recent rating was 6.8 in 2009.

Top local markets were: Baltimore, 16.8; ...Read more