Congratulations to American Pharoah, the first winner of the Triple Crown in 37 years! It's a huge victory for the horse with a short tail and misspelled name. Unfortunately, this is the first year that I have missed watching all three races.. maybe it's good luck for me to not watch them! Anyways, here are 7 fun facts about the winner, American Pharoah!
1. He was born on Groundhog Day in 2012.
2. He couldn't run in the Breeders' Cup last October because of a bruised left front foot. He was off for six and a half months and didn't return to the races until March 14. This was extremely late in the derby prep season, but his trainer, Bob Baffart, had patience- and the horse fully recovered!
3. This horse has a very short tail. It was apparently chewed off by another horse! There is a theory that the horse Mr. Z, a fellow competitor, may have been the culprit. The two were housed together in Florida when they were younger.
4. American Pharoah is also unique because he has such a gentle demeanor. He likes people and is surprisingly calm around humans for a young race horse.
5. His owner is Ahmed Zayat, an orthodox Jew from Egypt.
6. American Pharoah's name is inspired from the horses's sire (dad), Pioneerof The Nile, and his dam's sire (grandfather), Yankee Gentleman. His name also acknowledges his owner, Zayat's own dual Egyptial-American background.
7. American Pharoah's name is misspelled! The misspelling of "Pharaoh" is permanent, but unintentional. Zayat's explanation was that the misspelling was an error made by The Jockey Club when registering the name, but later The Jockey Club said that the name was submitted electronically through their website. Since it met all of the Club's criteria, they granted the name with the misspelling. Zayat's wife, Joanne, gave another explanation, saying Zayat's son held a contest over social media where fans could submit names for the horse. The winning entry had "Pharaoh" misspelled, and the name was copied and pasted from the winner's email and sent to The Jockey Club. The contest winner was interviewed by the New York Times, where she said she "doesn't want to assign blame, but I looked up the spelling before I entered the contest". She then added "horses can't spell anyways".
I guess people will be double checking their spelling from now on when registering horse names... hilarious! I guess the misspelled name and short horsey tail ended up being good luck for the horse and the owner! His stud fees are now around $100,000, and this horse is now estimated to be worth $48 million! Congrats to American Pharoah and his team!!! Hopefully we will see more victories like this in the future... I'll make sure not to miss these races next year!