05/03/2016 11:46AM

Graeme Baxter paints American Pharoah portrait

Graeme Baxter's portraits of American Pharoah by himself and with Bob Baffert.

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has been immortalized yet again. A portrait of himself and Bob Baffert, commissioned by the Hall of Fame trainer and his wife, Jill, was recently unveiled in a private ceremony.

The Bafferts had been approached by more than 50 artists who offered to paint American Pharoah. They selected renowned sporting artist Graeme Baxter, who visited the colt a total of four times last year at Santa Anita and Del Mar. Eclipse Award-winning Daily Racing Form photographer Barbara Livingston provided reference photos.

"It’s a great honor,” Baxter said. “To be able to be commissioned to do these prestigious paintings of the world’s top trainer and the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 is pretty amazing.

“It gave me goose bumps. Getting the opportunity to be up close to the most amazing racehorse of our era was quite exciting. He’s such a gentle animal. It was just a thrill to meet him."

Baxter, a native of Scotland who now resides in California, is primarily known as a golf landscape artist, and is the official artist for the Ryder Cup and British Open Championship.

He also has secured a commission to paint Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai and a leading international Thoroughbred owner and breeder under his Godolphin banner. Baxter will also paint Queen Elizabeth II, also a Thoroughbred owner, and other members of her family in a series of equestrian portraits. 

Copies of the American Pharoah prints, officially licensed by Zayat Stables and signed by Baffert and Baxter, are available at the Kentucky Derby Museum and online.

American Pharoah is standing his first season at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky. Baffert, in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, was reunited with the colt in a visit this week.