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American Pharoah Dazzles in Penultimate Cup Breeze

American Pharoah Works at Santa AnitaIn what is expected to be his second-last workout before the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), American Pharoah worked six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 Tuesday morning, Oct. 20, at Santa Anita Park.
The time was the fastest for eight working the distance.
 
Thinking the morning light would be better, trainer Bob Baffert sent out Zayat Stables' American Pharoah a few minutes later than usual Tuesday. Apparently the move was impressive in any light as American Pharoah overwhelmed a workmate.

"Damn that was good," tweeted Justin Zayat, racing manager for Zayat Stables, ending the tweet with "Awesome breeze."

The move marked the sixth time since Sept. 21 that the Triple Crown winner has worked, all at Santa Anita. American Pharoah’s first five moves were four or five furlongs and his most recent work before Tuesday was seven furlongs in 1:23.

Racing analyst Zoe Cadman also was impressed. She tweeted, "American Pharoah was simply awesome this morning in his work."

Baffert is training American Pharoah up to the Classic Oct. 31 atKeeneland off his runner-up finish in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 29 at Saratoga Race Course. He is scheduled for one more easy work at Santa Anita Monday, Oct. 26, before shipping to Keeneland early Tuesday morning, Oct. 27.

"This was the last serious drill of his life," said Baffert, who had American Pharoah galloping out seven furlongs on his watch in 1:23 1/5 and a mile in a tidy 1:37. "It's sort of sad in a way to think that's the last time we get to see him work like that. Just to watch him breeze, sometimes I get a bit excited, the way he does things so easily.  

"He looked fantastic today and I really feel good about the way he's coming into this race."

With jockey Martin Garcia up, American Pharoah, who was accompanied by a stable pony, came on the main track at 7:45 a.m. and jogged straight off down the stretch from the quarter mile chute. Breaking free from the pony as he headed to the clubhouse turn, "Pharoah" galloped out toward the middle of the track and angled down to the rail well behind stablemate Madam Aamoura at the 6 1/2 furlong pole.

Baffert said the Travers was one start too many for the Triple Crown winner who has benefitted from the rest from racing going into the Classic.

"We were 50-50 as to whether or not we were going to run in (the Travers)," said Baffert. "Unfortunately, he didn't really run his race and coming out of it, I could tell everything had kind of taken its toll ... He needs the 60 days (leading into the Classic on Oct. 31). This horse, he runs well fresh."

The son of Pioneerof the Nile impressed private clocker Gary Young Tuesday.

"He's been galloping really good this week," Young said. "His work today was terrific. It was a carbon copy of his last work. He had the same workmate, the same plan of attack and the same finish. I think he's a great horse and he seems really, really 'right' at this time.

"He's going to be a very tough horse to beat on Halloween Day." 
 
-from bloodhorse.com
 

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