11/02/2015 1:06PM

American Pharoah settles in at new home

Photos by Z
American Pharoah at Ashford Stud on Monday.

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah took the short van ride to his second career on Monday morning, arriving at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., where he will begin stallion duty next spring.

Coolmore acquired the breeding rights to American Pharoah earlier this year before his Triple Crown run. The 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile concluded his career with a 6 1/2-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday at Keeneland, his eighth Grade 1 score at as many different tracks for owner and breeder Zayat Stables.

“It’s a huge relief [to now have him on the farm], and we’re extremely lucky to have the horse,” Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier said after the colt was settled into his stall. “Kudos to [trainer Bob Baffert]. From the outset, a long time ago, he was telling us how good this horse was. And thankfully, we got a deal done with the Zayats, and they’re very good people. He’s just an exceptional horse, everything about him. Hopefully, we’ll do half as good a job as Bob has.”

Video Courtesy of Coolmore America


American Pharoah received a police escort to the farm from Keeneland, with Baffert, assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, exercise rider Georgie Alvarez, and groom Eduardo “Lalo” Luna among those waiting to welcome him to his new home. Barnes led American Pharoah off the van before handing the shank over to Ashford stallion manager Richard Barry, who will be responsible for overseeing the colt’s transition to farm life.

Barry said American Pharoah will be turned out in the next few days with a special “baby-sitter” in the paddock next door – 23-year-old dual classic winner Thunder Gulch, now pensioned from stud duty.

“Young horses, when they get out, tend to run around a lot,” Barry said. “And if you put a 23-year-old boy beside him, he’ll kind of look at him and go, ‘Son, you can run on your own.’ And he’ll spend an hour looking at Thunder Gulch eating grass and trying to get him to run, and he won’t run anywhere. And then he’ll figure out that he should eat some grass himself.”

After settling into his routine, the next hurdle for American Pharoah will come when he is test bred to check his fertility and to teach him the mechanics of the breeding shed, likely sometime in December.

Ashford has not announced its stud fees for the upcoming breeding season. Currently, the farm’s highest-priced stallion is perennial leading sire Giant’s Causeway, who stood for an advertised fee of $85,000 in 2015. American Pharoah will be one of two new stallions on Coolmore’s American roster for 2016, along with Grade 1-winning juvenile Competitive Edge.