Four Years Ago This Week, American Pharoah Captured Horse Racing’s “Grand Slam” With a Breeders’ Cup Classic Victory
Another Miracle and Four Wheel Drive – Sons of American Pharoah – Entered in this Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, Live at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN
STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 28, 2019 – Four years ago this week, American Pharoah made history in his final competition, as the Triple Crown winner raced to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. With his 6½-length triumph, Pharoah became the first horse to win racing’s “grand slam,” consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
American Pharoah was retired to stud following that 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. In his first breeding season, he sired 162 offspring. NBC Sports has followed American Pharoah’s first crop as many of them have moved on to the racetrack, and those stories will be the subject of an NBC Sports Films one-hour documentary “Born to Run” which debuts on NBC on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m. ET – just six days before the 2020 Kentucky Derby. (Click here for the “Born to Run” movie trailer.)
In his first year at stud in 2016, American Pharoah earned approximately $32 million – four times what he earned in his racing career. From roaming the farms as one-year-olds to the Keeneland Yearling Sale later that fall to the present day, NBC Sports has been documenting that first crop. Another Miracle and Four Wheel Drive are two of four from American Pharoah’s first crop scheduled to compete in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships this weekend at Santa Anita, as they run in the Juvenile Turf Sprint this Friday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
While none of American Pharoah’s offspring have the same story – with different pedigrees, owners and trainers – the goal for each of them is singular: to follow in their father’s footsteps. The odds of making it to the starting gate of the 2020 Kentucky Derby are about 20,000-to-1.
For American Pharoah, it was the Kentucky Derby – in 2015 – which launched a magical year in horse racing…
“The 37-year wait is over. American Pharoah is finally the one! American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!” – NBC race caller Larry Collmus (June 6, 2015)
As more than 90,000 cheered him on at Belmont Park, more than 22 million viewers watched American Pharoah cross the finish line of the Belmont Stakes with a 5½-length edge to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. In addition, the replay of the event, with Larry Collmus’ race call, plus additional Belmont video coverage was viewed 2.5 million times across the platforms of NBC Sports Digital.
“A rousing return for a living legend.” – Collmus (August 2, 2015)
Two months later, in the Haskell Invitational, the first Triple Crown winner in nearly four decades was feted in his first post-Belmont Stakes race by a record 60,983 spectators at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. American Pharoah ran to an easy 2¼-length victory in what was the most-watched horse racing telecast between the Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup World Championships in more than a decade.
“A Triple Crown winner, a Breeders’ Cup winner, a horse of a lifetime!” – Collmus (October 31, 2015)
American Pharoah’s final race (10/31/15 on NBC) was the highest-rated Breeders’ Cup telecast in 20 years, while a venue-record 50,155 watched the event in person at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS FILMS
NBC Sports Films, a division of NBC Sports Group, was founded in 2015 and produces sports documentaries that air across NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and NBC Sports Digital’s platforms. Using the story telling abilities of the Emmy Award-winning production units that produce NBC Sports’ coverage of the Olympics, Sunday Night Football, and the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports Films shines a spotlight on historical moments and compelling stories that stem from the myriad of signature sports properties in the NBC Sports Group portfolio.