Zayat Stables LLC’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, the first Thoroughbred since 1978 to sweep America’s series of classic races for 3-year-olds, is scheduled to return to Churchill Downs from New York’s Belmont Park on Sunday, June 7, and he will receive a welcome befitting his historic accomplishment completed with a victory in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (GI).
The Bob Baffert-trained American Pharoah, who launched his run to the first Triple Crown since 1978 five weeks ago with his win in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, will be among the horses traveling on a Sutton Forwarding Company flight from New York that is scheduled to arrive at Louisville International Airport at 1 p.m. (all times EDT). The Triple Crown champion will be accompanied by a police escort during the short journey by van from the airport to Churchill Downs.
Racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner is expected to return to Barn 33 at Churchill Downs at approximately 1:30 p.m.
The historic track’s Twin Spires already reflect American Pharoah’s achievement as they are glowing in the turquoise and yellow racing colors of Zayat Stables and will continue to do so at least through the “Downs After Dark” Stephen Foster Handicap celebration on Saturday, June 13.
An annual part of that evening is the presentation of the engraved Kentucky Derby winner’s trophies to the winning owner, trainer, jockey and breeders. It’s not known at this point how many members of the American Pharoah team will be at Churchill Downs to personally accept their engraved trophies.
The Stephen Foster Handicap festivities will be televised live on NBCSN.
Others returning to Churchill Downs on Sunday’s flight include Donegal Racing’s Keen Ice, third in the Belmont Stakes for trainer Dale Romans, and Charles E. Fipke’s Tale of Verve, the Preakness runner-up who finished seventh for trainer Dallas Stewart in the final jewel of the Triple Crown.