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American Pharoah Spectacular: Baffert
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes hero American Pharoah impressed trainer Bob Baffert at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning when breezing four furlongs in 48 seconds in preparation for the Belmont Stakes on Saturday week, reports Blood Horse. With jockey Martin Garcia in the saddle, the superstar colt also galloped over five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 and six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 on the fast track. The son of Pioneerof The Nile 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 Gr1 Belmont Stakes in New York on 6 June. The work delighted Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert who said American Pharoah was at the top of his game. "He was pretty spectacular out there," said Baffert, who arrived in Louisville late Monday and was at his Churchill barn at 6 a.m. Tuesday. "I really like the way he went today. He showed he had a lot of energy." He added: "He took off at the 4 1/2 (furlong) going really easy, so I told Martin to keep letting him go. That's Pharoah. When he's on his game, that's the way he looks." Baffert said American Pharoah had come through his Preakness Stakes victory in excellent order. "He's come back (from the Preakness) extremely well. The Derby was a hard race. It really got him fit. The Preakness he handled really well. He just makes my job easier because he's such a good horse." Baffert said American Pharoah would have his final Belmont work-out on Sunday 31 May, before shipping to Belmont Park on Tuesday, 2 June.