Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneer of the Nile) will continue his racing career, with the Breeders' Cup Classic (Gr.1) his ultimate target.
After the sophomore superstar suffered a shocking defeat in the Travers Stakes (Gr. 1) last weekend, Ahmed Zayat talked about retiring the colt, but the owner tweeted Thursday morning, "I have decided to continue to race American Pharoah! The champ deserves another chance!"
In a subsequent statement, Zayat explained, "I have discussed all aspects of American Pharoah's race last Saturday in the Travers and his condition since the race with our whole team, and have decided American Pharoah deserves another chance, so we are pointing to the Breeders' Cup Classic."
Breeders' Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel commended the decision to continue racing the champion. "While it is not our practice to comment on individual horses contemplating the Breeders' Cup as a year-end target, we want to acknowledge the Zayat family on their decision to keep American Pharoah in training and look forward to his continued engagement with the fans who have so genuinely connected with the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years," the statement read. "When John Gaines conceived of the Breeders' Cup, he intended that it be an attraction to and showcase for great champions that might otherwise retire from the spotlight. The 2015 Breeders' Cup at Keeneland is shaping up in many ways to be an historic and watershed event and we want to make clear our deep appreciation for all of the horses and their connections who plan to join us for a celebration of racing's champions from around the world."
Extract From Thoroughbred Daily News