American Pharoah 'on target' in Breeders' buildup

Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:00pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was "on target" in his Breeders' Cup Classic preparation after completing his toughest workout since finishing a shocking second in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in August.

The 3-year-old has been working out at his home track in California for longer than initially expected because of cold, wet weather over the past week in Kentucky, where he is set to end his stellar career at this month's Breeders' Cup Classic.

"He went really well," Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, 62, told reporters after American Pharoah had worked seven furlongs in 1:23 flat before galloping out a mile in a rapid 1:35.40 at the Santa Anita race track in Arcadia, California on Wednesday.

"We wanted to get a strong work out of him and it looks like he handled it really well.

"He's reaching, running (and he) looked like he came back happy, so we're right on target. We put a horse out there in front of him ... Madam Aamoura ... he needed a target."

With Martin Garcia in the saddle, American Pharoah galloped straight off from the quarter mile chute and was set down approaching the five-furlong pole, well behind stablemate Madam Aamoura, a 3-year-old filly.

American Pharoah then zipped through splits of 12.20, 24.00, 35.00, 47.00, 59.80 and 1:11.40.

"This is the first time since the Aug. 29 Travers that he's let this horse roll," said highly respected private clocker Gary Young. "The previous works here were maintenance works.

"This was serious. He started out about seven lengths behind the target and he went by the target like a freight train by a hobo at the three sixteenths. He looked good throughout."   Continued...

Jun 6, 2015; Elmont, NY, USA; American Pharoah (5) is walked into the winners circle after the 2015 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports