American Pharoah Takes Victory Lap at Churchill Downs
After winning horse racing's first Triple Crown since 1978, American Pharoah returned to Churchill Downs to take a celebratory victory lap at the site of the Kentucky Derby, where the horse won the first leg of his historic Triple Crown.
The horse was paraded around Churchill Downs in a celebration of his achievements, as well as those of owner Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert, and jockey Victor Espinoza, all three of whom received trophies engraved with the specifics of their historic achievements in working with the greatest horse of this generation.
It was estimated that 30,000 fans were in attendance to see this coronation of sorts, which was a part of an annual Downs After Dark event at the home of one of the biggest races in all of horse racing. Last year, just over 21,000 people showed up for this event, proving that American Pharoah was a huge draw, resulting in an attendance increase of over 30 percent.
During this celebration, American Pharoah wore a custom made Triple Crown commemorative blanket, which drew a very positive reaction from those in attendance when the horse was brought past the grandstand area. Baffert was also able to address the crowd, speaking to them about the excitement he felt when the crowd roared at the end of the champion horse's winning run in the Belmont Stakes.
Following his victory lap, American Pharoah was returned to Barn 33 on the back side of the track, where Baffert will keep him until he is ready to begin the next phase of his racing career. Fortunately for horse racing enthusiasts, it looks like American Pharoah will indeed race again instead of being retired to begin the next phase of his life.
Before American Pharoah won the 2015 Triple Crown, horse racing fans weren't sure that they were going to see a Triple Crown again. Not only did they get to bear witness to that historic accomplishment in 2015, but they have been treated to moments such as American Pharoah's victory lap, where fans and those responsible for making the horse a champion were able to celebrate together.
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