A major upset in horse racing occurred last weekend when Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was beat by Keen Ice in a pretty incredible come-from-behind win. While American Pharoah was set to make history at the Travers Stakes in Saratoga on Saturday afternoon, his loss (due to exhaustion) was met by several sighs, gasps, and a good amount of disbelief. Now, it seems, everyone is wondering if this horse will race again, or if his owner, Ahmed Zayat, will have a change of heart.
According to Sports Illustrated, Zayat wanted to race his champion horse through the end of the year. However, losing the Travers was a pretty significant blow.
“I am a fan, I love this horse… You have to ask yourself. Is the show over? Is it the time? My gut feeling [says], Time to go out on a high note. My gut feeling right now, without being outspoken, is to retire him,” Zayat said after Saturday’s upset.
Horse racing is quite the sport, and those who follow it know that a horse like American Pharoah doesn’t come around all that often. However, the Mid-Summer Derby loss could have marked the end of this boy’s run.
Even still, award-winning trainer Bob Baffert seems hopeful about the future of this colt, and seems to think that he has more left in his tank.
“Mr. Zayat is an emotional man. We were all really shocked. We didn’t expect the horse to get beat. We weren’t ready to give the losing speech. He looks great today. He could go back [to California], freshen up and run [again]. Sure,” said Baffert. So, will American Pharoah race in the Breeders Cup? “It’s possible. As long as nothing [negative] comes up between now and then. I’m happy with the way he looks today. He’s himself,” Baffert concluded, adding that Zayat would have the final say.
As of now, Pharaoh is listed as a contender on the Breeders Cup website. The Classic race takes place at the end of October, which gives the horse plenty of time to get his A-game back. If Zayat does decide to race him, he will face some pretty stiff competition. Other contenders include Dortmund, Keen Ice, Frosted, and Texas Red.
Horse racing has been incredibly exciting this year, and American Pharoah has made it stays that way. Do you think Zayat will keep him racing, or was the Travers the end of the road for this magnificent horse?
[Photo by Dylan Buell / Getty Images Sport]