LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Triple Crown champion American Pharoah had a spirited gallop at Keeneland in preparation for his final career start in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The colt arrived Tuesday from California and walked around his barn Wednesday. On Thursday, he galloped on the training track’s synthetic surface.
Trainer Bob Baffert had planned to use the main dirt track but changed his mind after several days of rain left a muddy surface. Several hundred fans watched the workout with exercise rider Georgie Alvarez on a cool, sunny morning.
Baffert said afterward that American Pharoah was “happy” and has been “working well.” American Pharoah is the 6-5 morning line favorite and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.
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.