Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 1st 2015 Contents A41
November 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
LEXINGTON---Triple Crown cham-
pion American Pharoah took charge
out of the gate, winning the $5 million
Breeders Cup Classic by 6 1/2 lengths
yesterday in his final race before
The 3-year-old colt ran 1 1/4 miles
in a track-record 2:00.07 as the sen-
timental 3-5 favorite among the crowd
of 50,155 at Keeneland. Fans stood 20-
deep all along the rail, cheering and
snapping cellphone photos of the
superstar horse and jockey Victor
Except American Pharoah didn t
hear them. He wears ear plugs to muf-
fle any sounds that might startle him.
"This was for Pharoah," trainer Bob
Baffert said. "We wanted him to go
out the champion he is."
He paid $3.40, $3 and $2.40.
Effinex, a 33-1 shot, returned $14.20
and $6.60. Honor Code was another
four-and-a-half lengths back in third
and paid $3.40 to show.
American Pharoah took on seven
rivals after Smooth Roller and cham-
pion mare Beholder dropped out.
Beholder had the speed and the class
to potentially make the race a contest,
but a lung ailment sidelined her on
It probably didn t matter how many
faced American Pharoah on a cloudy,
cool day in the cradle of American
He smashed the old track record of
2:05.36 by more than five seconds.
"The winner is one of the most
amazing things I ve seen," said Irish-
man Aidan O Brien, who trained last-
It was a feel-good moment for a
sport that has been battered and
bruised---all the troubles of declining
attendance and drug controversies
were wiped away in two magical min-
"It s a horse racing fairy tale and I
just happen to be in it," Baffert said.
After easing across the finish line,
Espinoza took the colt far up the first
turn before slowly walking past the
grandstand to the winner s circle,
accompanied by raucous cheers all the
way. The champion even had his own
military escort walk him back to his
The fans knew they had just wit-
nessed history, the final chapter in a
story that may never be repeated.
American Pharoah put an exclama-
tion point on a brilliant career in which
he lost just twice---in his debut and
again in the Travers on August 29.
Keen Ice, who vanquished him at
Saratoga, finished fourth in the Classic.
Tonalist, the 2014 Belmont winner,
was fifth, followed by Hard Aces,
Frosted and Ireland-bred Gleneagles.
Frosted unexpectedly pressed Amer-
ican Pharoah on the lead in the Travers,
leaving him vulnerable to the rally by
This time, no one could keep up
with the champ.
"It s a lot of pressure to train a horse
like this because I didn t want to let
the horse down and I didn t want to
let the fans down," Baffert said. "I m
just so proud of him; it s like watching
my child out there."
American Pharoah won nine of his
11 career starts, including the first sweep
of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and
Belmont in 37 years this spring. He
earned a total of $8,650,300 for Ahmed
Zayat, the Egyptian-born owner who
chose to keep his popular horse in train-
ing so fans could see him run.
"We wanted him to go out as a win-
ner," Zayat said. "He is a winner."
American Pharoah had already
ensured his place in history by ending
the Triple Crown drought. He won
the Derby by a length, then easily han-
dled a sloppy track in the Preakness
to win by seven lengths. In the Bel-
mont, he led all the way en route to
a dominating five-and-a-half-length
After winning the Haskell Invita-
tional in early August in Zayat s home
state of New Jersey, American Pharoah
took his show to upstate New York to
run in the Travers. His loss by three-
quarters of a length raised the question
of whether he had peaked, and an
emotional Zayat considered retiring
But the colt went back to his South-
ern California base with Baffert and
regrouped. He quickly showed he was
regaining his old form in training, in
between entertaining visitors from
children to Julia Roberts alike at his
Santa Anita barn.
In a sport rife with jealousy, Baffert
earned kudos from his rival trainers
for how he handled the horse. Fellow
Hall of Famer D Wayne Lukas popped
into the post-race news conference to
"I knew he d break their heart at
the half-mile pole, and he did it," Lukas
said. "You had him ready. On behalf
of every trainer who gets up and tries
to make a living, I want to congratulate
American Pharoah was a remarkable
blend of exceptional talent and a win-
ning personality. Unlike most high-
strung, unpredictable thoroughbreds,
he was friendly and patient with fans
who wanted to pet and pose with him.
"The kindest, friendliest, happiest,
easiest, most brilliant horse I ve ever
seen in my life," Zayat said. "He con-
nected with people. He loves people.
I knew he got it."
Next up for American Pharoah is a
new career as a breeding stallion at a
farm in Kentucky bluegrass country
"It s going to be sad to see him go,"
Baffert said. "But I think he s done
enough. He s proved enough."
Turning to his 10-year-old son Bode,
the trainer said: "We re going to miss
him, aren t we, buddy?" (AP)
good in Mile
Mondialiste fared best
of the Europeans with a
fine second in the
Breeders' Cup Mile to
impressive winner Tepin.
A strong raiding party
was fully expected to
make its mark at
Keeneland, but big guns
such as defending
Esoterique and Time
Test never looked likely
The Mark Casse-
trained filly Tepin was
always in the perfect
position to make her
challenge when Julien
Leparoux elected to
press the button, and
she shot clear when
from out of the pack to
finish like a train for
David O'Meara and
Danny Tudhope, but the
winner had well and
O'Meara said: "It's a
fantastic run, we were
just short of room at
one stage, but he didn't
half come home well.
"It was a massive
effort." Roger Charlton
said of Time Test:
"Ryan (Moore) was
scratching his head a bit
and said the horse didn't
pick up in the straight,
but there are no
excuses. I couldn't really
say the ground or the
track beat him."
Jonathan Pease is set
retirement. He said:
"Last year he was calm
before the race, but this
time he got a bit upset.
He's just not run his
He added: "I shall have
a few runners more
runners this week and
then that will be it."
Tudhope said of the
runner-up: "He travelled
great for most of the
way and everything
nearly went according
to plan."I had to wait for
the gaps and he picked
up incredibly well. I think
the winner had the run
of the race."Casse said
of Tepin: "To be in the
same company with
Goldikova, Miesque and
Royal Heroine, beating
the boys in the mile, I'm
not sure I have the
words. Am I dreaming?
She just continues to
amaze me."I'm still in
shock (at how easily she
won) so I'll have to
watch the race a few
more times, and then I'll
be even more
surprised."It's hard to
LEXINGTON---Mongolia made a
splash at the Breeders Cup when a
longshot horse with an owner and
trainer from the central Asian nation
won the $1 million Turf Sprint at
It was the landlocked country s first
representative in the 32-year history
of the world championships.
Sent off at 15-1 odds, Mongolian
won by a neck and paid $33.80 to win.
The winner s circle was a jubilant
scene with owner Ganbaatar Dag-
vadorj, who races as Mongolian Stable,
and his relatives and friends dressed
in colorful traditional garb and head-
gear. He was joined by his wife, a for-
mer Miss Mongolia.
"It s a big dream as Mongolians to
participate in this big event," Dagvadorj
said. "And as a Mongolian, we ride
horses starting at age four. It s part of
Known as the "Land of the Horse,"
Mongolians by reputation are consid-
ered some of the best horsemen in the
world. "Some people say Mongolian
people are born to ride," trainer Enebish
Ganbat said. "Everybody was raised
on horses and our horses are field hors-
es."Dressed in robin egg blue silks with
"MGL" in red letters on the back, jock-
ey Florent Geroux and the 5-year-old
gelding broke from post 14 on the far
outside and immediately challenged
for the lead. They took the lead at the
top of the stretch and then needed an
all-out drive to the wire to hold off
Lady Shipman in a photo finish.
"Everybody is crying over this cel-
ebration," Ganbat said of the reaction
6,475 miles (10,421 kilometers) away
in the capital of Ulan Bator.
Five years ago, Ganbat switched from
the long-distance training done in
Mongolia to thoroughbred training in
"From last year I begin to understand
this is how to feed, how to train, how
to breed," he said. "It s totally differ-
At an event that celebrates the
breeding industry, Mongolian Saturday
is, ironically, a gelding. He was bred
in Kentucky and was purchased for
$60,000 at a Keeneland sale.
The victory was worth $550,000 or
just over 1 billion tughriks in Mongolian
American Pharoah goes
out a winner in Classic
Mongolia earns first victory
American Pharoah, with Victor Espinoza up, wins the Breeders' Cup Classic
horse race at Keeneland race track yesterday, in Lexington, Kentucky. AP PHOTO
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