This year’s biggest new star in sports: Kentucky-bred racehorse American Pharaoh.
- American Pharoah is the seventh horse since 2000 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing: the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. If he wins the Belmont Stakes in June, he’ll be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, and the 12th horse in history to do it.
- American Pharoah was once listed as a ridgling, not a colt, as is typically done. What does that mean? He had an undescended testicle.
- While racehorses are all officially given the birthday of January 1, to make tracking their ages and other statistics easier, American Pharoah was technically born, or “foaled” on February 2, 2012.
- American Pharoah has an impressive pedigree. His father is Pioneer of the Nile, who finished second in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and 11th in the Preakness Stakes. The horse’s grandfather is Empire Maker, winner of the 2003 Belmont Stakes.
- He’s accomplished quite a lot for a three-year-old. The horse has competed in six major races…and won all six of them. Total winnings to date: $3.73 million.
- His distinguishing marks include a star on his forehead and a very short tail. His trainers surmise that Mr. Z, another racehorse in the same stable did it when both were kept together in a Florida as young horses.
- Another notable thing about American Pharoah is that his name is spelled wrong. (“Pharaoh” is the correct spelling.) The name request was filed with The Jockey Club in January 2014, and was registered as it was submitted, despite the mistake.