Lexington, Ky. – Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Racetrack, the horse’s owner and breeder, Ahmed Zayat, confirmed on Thursday.
Doubts were cast on the prospect of the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years appearing in the race after the Thoroughbred ran second in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in late August.
“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 release to Daily Racing Form.
Zagat said he was concerned about American Pharoah’s condition after the Travers Stakes, but after consulting with his team – including trainer Bob Baffert and assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, and jockey Victor Espinoza – the decision was made to point the horse to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“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,” Zayat said in the release.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic takes place on Oct. 31 at Keeneland. This is the first time the race has been held at the historic Lexington racetrack.
Horseracing’s 12th Triple Crown winner will go to stud at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., after the Breeders’ Cup Classic.