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American Pharoah: star colt was retired last month
PICTURE: Getty Images
Pharoah takes on baseball team for award
USA: American Pharoah, the first Triple Crown winner Stateside for 37 years who is set for further honours after his stunning Breeders’ Cup Classic triumph moved him 3lb clear of Golden Horn in the race to be named the world’s best horse, is in the running for another honour.
The son of Pioneerof The Nile, who was retired to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky after bolting up in last month’s Classic at Keeneland, has received 33 per cent of the votes to be crowned Sportsman of the Year for 2015 by prestigious US magazine Sports Illustrated.
Only the Kansas City Royals, the baseball team who won their first World Series since 1985, have more votes (42 per cent) than the star colt, so expertly handled by Bob Baffert for Ahmed Zayat and his family.
Barcelona ace Lionel Messi is third with four per cent, while Novak Djokovic, Usain Bolt and Ronda Rousey are also among the candidates. Voting closes on December 12.
Best in the world
American Pharoah, the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes since Affirmed in 1978, is the only horse to have completed the ‘Grand Slam’ – the Triple Crown races plus the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which official handicappers rated at 133 – 2lb higher than the figure he earned when strolling home in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in August.
His new rating means he will likely top the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2015, which will be confirmed on January 19.