Keeneland preview: Breeders’ Cup Classic (21.35)
David Metcalf | October 31, 2015
The Bob Baffert trained three-year-old has already done enough to be considered one of the great American racehorses of the last several decades having won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
American Pharoah went to land land the Grace 1 Haskall Stakes at Monmouth in ultra-impressive fashion, tracking the leaders before quickening clear two from home to win effortlessly by 2 1/4 lengths in the hands of a motionless Victor Espinoza.
The son of Pioneer of The Nile then tasted a shock defeat last time out in the Travers at Saratoga when a 3/4 length runner-up to Keen Ice, but that race may well have come too soon and he showed plenty of heart and courage to go down fighting.
Many great horses, including the legendary Secretariat, have tasted defeat in the race which has become known as the Graveyard Of Champions and the Pharoah has since been given a well-deserved break to freshen up.
Baffert reports him to be in tip top shape, and recent race course gallops suggest American Pharoah is raring to go.
If he can recapture the form he showed this Spring and early Summer, then American Pharoah is going to be extremely difficult to beat.
Tonalist and Honour Code best of the rest
There is some decent home opposition in the shape of Honour Code and Tonalist, and of that pair I prefer the latter following an impressive success the Jockey Club Cup at Belmont earlier in the month.
Dual classic winner Gleneagles is also a fascinating contender on his first attempt at 1m 2f.
The Aidan O’Brien trained colt disappointed last time out on unsuitable soft ground at Ascot, but had previously looked an ultra smart performer and would be a big player on the pick of his form if handling the dirt and getting the trip.
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