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American Pharoah Arrives At Coolmore
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah arrived at Coolmore's Ashford Stud yesterday morning to begin the next chapter of his illustrious career, reports Blood Horse. Arriving with a police escort, the champion 3YO was led to the Ashford stallion barn where he will take up residence in the old stall of the late Gr1-winning and Gr1-producing sire Grand Slam. The name of the stall's former occupant is a fitting one for American Pharoah, because in winning Saturday's Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic he became the first horse in history to complete the "Grand Slam" of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup. No other Triple Crown winner had ever won a Breeders' Cup event. Ashford stallion manager Richard Barry said American Pharoah will be turned out in a paddock next to retired champion Thunder Gulch. "Things are very quiet and very relaxed around here at the moment," Barry explained. "We'll turn him out in the next couple of days, and we'll put a baby-sitter beside him - and what I mean by a babysitter is Thunder Gulch. He's 23 years old now." He added: "Young horses, when they get out, tend to run around a lot, and if they have company it just encourages them to run around. But if you put a 23-year-old boy beside them, he'll kind of look at him and go, 'Son, you can run on your own.' He'll spend an hour looking at Thunder Gulch eating grass, and try to get him to run, and he won't run anywhere, and then he'll figure out that he should eat some grass himself." American Pharoah will be the first Triple Crown winner to stand at stud since Affirmed was retired in 1979, and the first available to breeders since Seattle Slew died in 2002. A stud fee is expected in the coming days. "There's a lot of interest in him, which there should be," Coolmore's M.V. Magnier said. "It's a massive thing for everybody to get a chance to breed to this horse now. He's an exceptional looker and he's an exceptional racehorse, to do what he did." Trainer Bob Baffert, who accompanied American Pharoah to Coolmore, said: "This horse, he was so special," he said. "I don't have to tell you how good he was... his mechanics, the way he travels, the way he moves, his speed, his temperament, soundness.." He added: "He's run on every kind of track surface imaginable. Poly (track), mud, rain, deep, whatever, he's never had an off day. It was just very rare. To me, that's why I'll remember him—he made my job so much easier. When you have a gifted athlete like this and you keep him running all year long like he did, it's just exceptional... he's just a magical horse for me. He's the one horse that trainers dream of having one day in their lives."