American Pharoah arrived at Churchill Downs April 13, 2015, two days after winning the Arkansas Derby. American Pharoah would go on to sweep the 2015 Triple Crown races to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to accomplish the feat. (Eclipse Sportswire)
Five years ago this spring, U.S. horse racing was staring at a 37-year drought with no Triple Crown winners since Affirmed in 1978. Along came American Pharoah fresh off an eight-length romp in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park April 11. The Pioneerof the Nile colt arrived at Churchill Downs two days later on April 13 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
American Pharoah would win the Kentucky Derby May 2 at Churchill and five weeks later the 37-year wait ended as he completed a sweep of the classics with a 5 ½-length runaway in the Belmont Stakes. Let’s take a short trip back in time with Eclipse Sportswire to revisit American Pharoah’s Arkansas Derby win and subsequent arrival at the Louisville track, where he prepared for his run into the history books.