American Pharoah ends career with Breeders' Cup win

Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:43pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Triple Crown winner American Pharoah won the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday to end his career as horse racing's first-ever Grand Slam champion.

The Bob Baffert-trained colt, who earlier this year became the 12th horse -- and first since Affirmed in 1978 -- to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, romped to a commanding 6 1/2 length victory over a fading Effinex to bring the curtain down on a spectacular career. Honor Code was a

distant third.

"I am so proud of this horse, but I am so relieved.," said a jubilant Baffert. "When he’s right, he’s right and you saw what he can do today.

"It’s tough to win a Breeders’ Cup; you'd better come with a good horse. I am so proud of him.

"This is the greatest horse I’ll ever see. He is a champion. I am so glad that American Pharoah goes out the champion he is.

"We're all going to miss him."

Since winning the Triple Crown and cementing his place in racing history, American Pharoah won the Haskell Invitational but finished second in the Travers Stakes on August 29 at Saratoga in New York.

Breaking from the number four post the three-year-old colt showed no signs of rust from the extended layoff, charging to the front and never surrendering the lead.   Continued...

Oct 31, 2015; Lexington, KY, USA; Victor Espinoza aboard American Pharoah races during race eleven of the 2015 Breeders Cup Championships at Keeneland. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports