DEL MAR, Calif. – Triple Crown champion American Pharoah made quite the impression during a meet-and-greet in Del Mar Tuesday.
As the camera’s start recording, the big gorgeous beast struck a pose.
“He’s a big ham! He loves it,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes.
Off track, the powerful and fierce competitor seemed more like a teddy bear than a multimillion dollar thoroughbred now destined to go down in history as one of only 12 horse to accomplish the greatest feat in horse racing.
“It takes a very special horse to do it,” said Barnes. “It definitely something that is not easy to do. Timing is everything and you can’t have any setbacks or complications.”
American Pharoah’s first race was at Del Mar last year at the Pacific Classic which he lost.
“In his first race, he didn’t handle anything well, the paddock, the post parade. We had to come back a make some adjustments. We took the blinkers off and gave him ear plugs,” Barnes said.
American Pharoah came back in the afternoon and won and never stopped winning. Barnes has been by his side every step of the way.
“If you have bad day all you have to do walk down to [American Pharoah] stall he’ll cheer you right up that’s for sure!” Barnes said.
The barely two-month old victory still fresh with emotions of realizing a dream – against impossible odds.
“I think it comes because of what an achievement it is,” Barnes said. “In this industry it’s something that doesn’t happen. And from childhood you always say ‘we’re going to win the Triple Crown. We’re going to get a Kentucky Derby horse.”
As Misha DiBono tried to say goodbye to this amazing creature, he just didn’t want to leave, coming up to her and nuzzling in her neck and letting her kiss his nose – more than a few times! Wow!