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Should American Pharoah Race in the Breeders Cup Classic?

Posted by Jay Sanin on 6/15/2015 10:13:32 AM

With an opportunity to race in horse racing's richest race, should American Pharoah run in the Breeders Cup Classic, or is the Triple Crown enough?

American Pharoah made history by becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win horse racing's Triple Crown, but a new opportunity has presented itself in the form of the Breeders Cup Classic. Held in four months time, the Breeders Cup Classic is incredibly lucrative, with $5 million going to the winners.

The Breeders Cup Classic wasn't run for the first time until 1984, meaning that American Pharoah is the first Triple Crown winner to have the opportunity to run it and win what is being billed as horse racing's grand slam by combining the Triple Crown with horse racing's most financially lucrative race.

Now, the question now is whether or not American Pharoah should be put into the race at all. And while it looks like Ahmed Zayat and Bob Baffert will enter their champion horse into the race, there is certainly an argument to be made that he should not run again.

Of course, the most obvious case against putting American Pharoah into the Breeders Cup Classic, or any other race for that matter, is the risk of injury. Should something happen to American Pharoah during one of these post-Triple Crown races, his ability to breed and potentially produce more champion horses would be in serious jeopardy, which is to say nothing about the optics of having to put down a Triple Crown winner on the track.

There's also the hit the horse's legacy would take by losing in that race, as not everyone would remember just the three Triple Crown wins anymore.

On the flip side, though, there's also a legitimate case to be made that American Pharoah should run in the Breeders Cup Classic. Now that he has done something that hasn't been done in nearly 40 years of horse racing, American Pharoah is more than a race horse, and is now a must see horse for fans around the world. Putting more fans in a position to see him in person is only going to make the sport more interesting for a period of time beyond the three Triple Crown races, which is never bad.

Whether it's a good idea or not, it looks like American Pharoah will be in the Breeders Cup Classic, with a chance to win horse racing's first grand slam.

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