LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) American Pharoah has arrived in soggy Kentucky to begin final preparations for the last race for the Triple Crown champion in this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
After a flight from warm and sunny California and a short ride from the Lexington airport on Tuesday, American Pharoah was guided off the van in a cold, steady rain and into Barn 62 at the Keeneland Training Center.
About 150 photographers and news crews recorded every step taken by the Triple Crown winner. Owner Ahmed Zayat was on hand to view the unloading and trainer Bob Baffert arrived soon after. Once inside the barn, American Pharoah walked around several times before being led into his stall.
American Pharoah is the early 6-5 favorite for the $5 million Classic, where he faces nine rivals on Saturday.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The New York Racing Association has canceled Saturday’s card of racing at Saratoga Race Course due to excessive heat forecast for eastern New York.
The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index as high as 110 degrees. Training will be permitted Saturday on both the main track and Oklahoma training track in the normally cooler temperatures in the morning.
The last time an entire racing card was canceled at Saratoga because of extreme heat was Aug. 2, 2006, when temperatures rose to the upper 90s and the heat index measured as high as 110 degrees.
NYRA president Dave O’Rourke calls the move “of the utmost importance” to NYRA and its industry partners.
The sport has come under increased scrutiny with the deaths of 30 horses during the recent racing season at Santa Anita in Southern California.
DEL MAR, Calif. — Two horses have been killed in a collision at Del Mar during training on the second day of its 2019 season.
The track says the accident occurred Thursday morning when the horse Charge A Bunch threw rider Geovanni Franco, turned sharply and collided with Carson Valley.
Carson Valley’s rider, jockey Assael Espinoza, was taken to a hospital for evaluation but Franco was not injured.
Carson Valley’s trainer, Bob Baffert, says it was a freak accident beyond anyone’s control.
The Del Mar deaths follow 30 horse fatalities at the just-ended Santa Anita meet. Those deaths led to an array of new procedures intended to increase safety.