American Pharaoh

American Pharaoh Rules

The 141st Kentucky Derby has been run and won by boom horse American Pharaoh in front of a record crowd of 170,513 at Churchill Downs racecourse.

Despite racing wide and covering ground in the run, the Bob Baffert trained American Pharaoh ($3.90) finished too strongly for Firing Line ($13.00) and the winner’s stablemate Dortmund ($3.90). In the capacity 18 horse field, the place getters were 1,2,3 for most of the way and were aided by a slow tempo as the predicted pacemakers went missing.

American Pharaoh whose track work last week was described by a trackman as the best work he’d witnessed in 35 years of clocking horses - and whose lead up 8 length win in the Arkansas Derby was the easiest victory you’re ever likely to see - lived up to all the big raps and won comfortably at the finish.

Jockey Victor Espinosa who also rode last year’s
Derby winner California Chrome, excitedly said after the race “I feel like the luckiest Mexican on earth”. Espinosa, the son of a goat farmer, may have famously been thrown off the family mule as a youngster, but had no such troubles in the Derby as he piloted a wide course to keep his horse out of trouble.

American Pharaoh was beaten by a margin of 9 lengths on debut back in August 2014, but has now won his five subsequent starts by an average margin of over 4 lengths. The 3 year old is likely to take on his next challenge in the second leg of the triple crown the Preakness Stakes in the riot ravaged, curfew city of Baltimore in Maryland

                           Mark Hall     May 2015