Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2024

Racing

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American Pharoah transfixed the nation when he brought a 37-year-old Triple Crown drought to a jubilant end last year. Rather than retire him immediately to stud, as is the prevailing wisdom, owner Zayat Stables and trainer, Bob Baffert, sportingly decided to continue to race the extraordinary athlete to the delight of his fans.

Following the Belmont Stakes, there were sold-out crowds at the Haskell and Travers in August and a spectacular grand finale in the Breeders’ Cup Classic where American Pharoah crossing the wire 6 1/2 lengths ahead of the next finisher.

Taking Thoroughbreds who’ve reached the end of the line in their career on the track and giving them a new profession has been especially advantageous for event rider-trainer Becky Douglas, of Mendota Heights, Minn., and hunter/jumper trainer Alex Jayne of Elgin, Ill.

“For a lot of average race horses, their career is over [at the age of] 5,” Douglas said. “But they can still find a new usefulness and contribute to equine society. To find a new job for them to do for another 15 years is very rewarding.”

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