11/17/2015 2:08PM

Big Sport of Turfdom awarded to American Pharoah connections


The connections of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah have been selected to receive the Big Sport of Turfdom Award from the Turf Publicists of America, the organization announced on Tuesday.

The connections of the now-retired American Pharoah, who was raced by Zayat Stables, were selected in a “landslide vote” of the TPA’s membership, the organization said. The connections – owner Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert, jockey Victor Espinoza, and Zayat Stables racing manager Justin Zayat – will be presented with the award during the Race Track Industry Program Awards Luncheon on Dec. 8 in Tucson, Ariz., an event held in conjunction with the program’s annual Symposium on Racing and Gaming.

This is the third time that the TPA has selected a horse and its connections for the award, which honors “a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and racing publicists.” The first was “Team Cigar” in 1996 and the second was “Team Zenyatta” in 2009.

“Owning and campaigning American Pharoah has been an honor, a privilege, and the thrill of a lifetime,” said Ahmed Zayat, in a release distributed by the TPA. “What topped it off was sharing American Pharoah with the fans. Indeed he is America’s horse and we are very grateful on behalf of Team Pharoah to accept this prestigious award.”

American Pharoah won seven of his eight races this year, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the final start of his career. He has been retired to stud.