By the time May 2nd rolls around, American Pharoah just might be crowned as the next “America’s Horse”. You see, he’s not only a major threat to capture the Derby roses, the Bob Baffert-trained colt just might end up a major threat to end racing’s Triple Crown drought. Simply put, American Pharoah has been that good this spring.
As he charged down the Oaklawn Park homestretch, track announcer Frank Mirahmadi perhaps said it all on Saturday, when calling those final brilliant strides to the finish line of the Arkansas Derby.
“ American Pharoah, breathtaking, in a mesmerizing performance !” exclaimed Mirahmadi, as the powerful colt galloped to the wire, eight lengths in front of the runner-up. Saturday in Hot Springs, The Pharoah answered some serious questions.
Could he be successful at the distance of a mile and an eighth? Check yes in that box. Could he relax and rate behind a pacesetter? Yes, checkmark. And dating back to his pair of major stakes victories last year, The Pharoah has now won his last four starts by a combined 22 and ¼ lengths.
“The way this horse runs is unbelievable”, said his jockey, Victor Espinoza. The two-time Kentucky Derby winning rider had total control of the Arkansas Derby. American Pharoah’s clocking was one of the fastest in years even considering that Espinoza began gearing the colt down in about the final 150 yards to the finish line.
“We were hoping he could do something like that and he showed it today”, trainer Bob Baffert beamed . “We’re so excited about him”.
It’s good to be Baffert these days because of his tremendous one-two punch heading to Churchill Downs. His Dortmund has put together a terrific run-up to the Derby and will arrive in Louisville undefeated. And while there have been plenty of prep races that have drawn raves for Derby contenders like Dortmund, Carpe Diem, Firing Line and Mubtaahij, American Pharoah’s jaw-dropping performance at Oaklawn just about cinches his role as the favorite for Derby 141