As smooth as any of his races, American Pharoah made an uneventful 12-hour trip cross-country to Saratoga Race Course today and is resting comfortably on the backstretch.
The 1-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 146th Travers Stakes, the Triple Crown winner was greeted by fans and media at Albany International Airport just before 2 p.m., and by another group of the same when his van arrived at barn 25 just over an hour later.
As usual, he took the travel well and will be out on the track for some light work on Thursday morning.
“It was actually a fairly quick trip, 12 hours stall-to-stall,” said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. “We’re used to it [extra attention]. This is just how it is when you travel with the Pharoah.”
American Pharoah was vanned from Baffert’s barn at Del Mar to LA/Ontario International Airport for a charter flight with a stop in Lexington, Ky., where the plane picked up 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide.
The Triple Crown winner has logged over 18,000 miles this year, so the 2,850-mile trip from Del Mar to Saratoga was nothing special.
He got off the van, walked about a dozen laps around the shedrow, stopped to pose for photos from about 100 media people and onlookers, then got a bath before being put in stall 11 of barn 25.
“He handles shipping very well, absolutely. He’s shipped so many times now, he’s a pro,” Barnes said.
“He’s an exceptional case as far as handling the shipping, keeping his weight well, keep eating. Going back and forth from coast to coast, they could back off their feed and lighten up on you. He pretty much gained weight, so it hasn’t been an issue.”