It’s a free chance to see a Triple Crown winner run, even if it’s only a run-through.
With Saturday’s Travers Stakes sold out, those without a ticket can still see American Pharoah do his thing on the Saratoga Race Course main track Friday morning, when he goes out for a routine maintenance gallop.
The New York Racing Association has reserved a block of time from 8:45-9 a.m. for Travers runners to get
on the track for a final workout, if their trainers choose to do so.
American Pharoah will gallop a mile and a half with his regular exercise rider, Jorge Alvaraez.
Gates will open at 7 a.m. for the traditional breakfast hours. Parking refunds will be issued to those who leave the grounds before 10 a.m.
A bay colt, American Pharoah is recognizable for his lack of white markings, other than a tiny smudge on his forehead.
His coat is brown, with a black mane and tail, and his lower legs are black.
He will be accompanied to the track from barn 25 on the backstretch by his companion pony, nicknamed Smokey, who is a buckskin gelding. He has traveled all over the country with American Pharoah.
The Travers has drawn a field of 10. Besides American Pharoah, the horses entered are Upstart, Mid Ocean, Texas Red, Frammento, Frosted, Keen Ice, Tale of Verve, King of New York and Smart Transition.
If Frosted is on the track Friday, he’ll be the most easily recognizable of the Travers runners, as he is the only gray horse in the field.
Bob Baffert’s assistant trainer, Jimmy Barnes, said he expects American Pharoah to handle the Saratoga dirt surface just fine, even though he’s never been on it. He’ll go out for a jog or an easy gallop this morning.
“He likes a deeper type of track, and this track should be fine,” he said. “He likes the eastern tracks. All of his racing has been done on eastern tracks, basically, other than the synthetic at Santa Anita.”