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American Pharoah Works At Churchill Downs
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile-Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentlemen) galloped 1 1/4 miles on a wet Churchill Downs main track yesterday as he continues his preparations for the US$1.5 million Gr1 Belmont Stakes on Saturday week, reports Blood Horse. Jimmy Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert, said he was pleased with the colt's work in the sloppy conditions. "He went very nice and looked good," Barnes said. "He likes an off track. Everything seems fine." American Pharoah will bid to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978, and the 12th of all time, to win the elusive US Triple Crown when he lines up in the Belmont Stakes in New York on 6 June. In response to the growing excitement around American Pharoah's historic bid, Churchill Downs is opening its doors free of charge between 8-9 am each morning through June 2 so the public can view American Pharoah along with other Belmont Stakes hopefuls. "Our switchboard has received a number of calls from avid fans looking to get a glimpse of American Pharoah and this is a great way to showcase the stars of our sport to an audience yearning for more," said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs racetrack. "It's always exciting to have a Kentucky Derby winner back in training at Churchill Downs, but it's extra special to have American Pharaoh here preparing for a possible sweep of the elusive Triple Crown. A big 'thank you' goes out to our local horsemen and staff for accommodating our request to host this special training period for the horses and fans."