Author: Patrick

American Horse of the Year: American Pharoah

American Horse of the Year: American Pharoah

Farewell to the Horse Who May Have Been America’s Oldest Thoroughbred


Lyle Smith

Published on: April 18th, 2013

The horse who once raced in the top five of the American Triple Crown races in the 1930s and 1940s is gone. The horse who was the fastest in his age group on the dirt track is no longer around. The one who was known for being a very fast-moving animal—especially at speed—is no longer racing.

As it turns out, you might have had the opportunity to see both of them live in person, but you will have to miss them this weekend when racing at Pimlico Race Course.

But you will have a chance to see them in one more way.

Saturday, April 24 is the day that American Horse of the Year honors in Arlington, Virginia. In a series of three races, including three graded stakes, American Pharoah, a 2-year-old son of Eclipse Award-winning Kingcobra and a 3-year-old son of Triple Crown winner Saratoga will be honored at 1 p.m. ET. Their first start comes on the short-graded graded stakes track, and their second comes on the longer-graded racetrack.

“We have two very smart horses back to back,” said American Pharoah’s trainer Paul Niehaus, who has had his filly’s career derailed by injury and illness. “We want to treat them to a full career at our own pace.”

The filly and her 3-year-old son were both bred and raced in Kentucky by the New Holland family—the owners of Churchill Downs and their breeding company American Thoroughbred. After their racing careers, they will be going on their first tour to Japan. Their first stop will be the track where Kingcobra was trained in Japan, the Tokyo Prince Hai at Yodobashi.

“We’re very much looking forward to it,” Niehaus said. “We’

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