American Pharoah

American Pharoah (f. 2012) is the 12th winner of the U.S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing. After winning the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stake – thus completing the Triple Crown – he went on the win the Breeders´Cup Classic as well, thus becoming the first horse ever to win the U.S. Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing.

For most of his races, he was ridden by Victor Espinoza.

After the 2015 racing year, American Pharaoh retired from racing and became a breeding stud for Ashford Stud, a division of Coolmore Stud.

American Pharoah

Short facts about American Pharoah

Foaled: February 2, 2012

Sire: Pioneer of the Nile

Dam: Littleprincessemma

Sex: Stallion

Color: Bay (with a faint star on his forehead)

Breeder: Ahmed Zayat

Owner: Ahmed Zayat

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Record: 11: 9-1-0

Race earnings: $8,650,300

Major wins

Del Mar Futurity (2014)
FrontRunner Stakes (2014)
Rebel Stakes (2015)
Arkansas Derby (2015)
Haskell Invitational (2015)

Kentucky Derby (2015)
Preakness Stakes (2015)
Belmont Stakes (2015)
Breeders’ Cup Classic (2015)

Awards, honors, etc

American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse (2014)

12th U.S. Triple Crown Champion (2015)
1st Grand Slam Champion (2015)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (2015)
American Horse of the Year (2015)

NTRA “Moment of the Year” (2015)
Secretariat Vox Populi Award (2015)
IFHA World’s Best Racehorse (2015)

American Pharoah Way in Fayette and Woodford counties, Kentucky
American Pharoah Statue at Oaklawn Park
American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita Park

The name

The second part of the name American Pharoah is an accidental misspelling of the word “pharaoh”. The Triple Crown blanket given to the horse after his win at Belmont inadvertedly used the correct spelling of the word “pharaoh”.


American Pharoah was foaled at Tom VanMeter’s Stockplace Farm in Lexington, Kentucky on February 2 (Groundhog Day), 2012. His breeder and owner is Ahmed Zayat, the CEO of Zayat Stables.

American Pharoah´s sire is Pioneer of the Nile, who finished runner-up in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The dam is Littleprincessemma.

The young American Pharoah lived with his dam at Pretty Run Farm for a few months, before they moved to Vinery Farm – the farm where Pioneer of the Nile also lived. (Both farms are near Lexington).

In January 2013, the yearling American Pharoah was moved to Taylor Made Farm (also in Kentucky) and in August that year he was consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling sale. A few weeks before the auction, he bumped his leg, and a smal lump resulting from this could still be seen at the auction. This might have discouraged buyers, and Ingordo Bloodstock could pick him up for the posted minimum of $300,000. Ingordo Bloodstock was the agent of Zayat, who thereby bought back his own horse.

After the auction, American Pharoah was sent to Florida to be trained at the McKathan Brothers Training Center. After reaching race condition, the horse was trained by Bob Baffert.

Pedigree of American Pharoah

Pioneerof the Nile
Empire Maker Unbridled Fappiano
Gana Facil
Toussaud El Gran Senor
Image of Reality
Star of Goshen Lord at War General
Luna de Miel
Castle Eight Key to the Kingdom
Her Native
Yankee Gentleman Storm Cat Storm Bird
Key Phrase Flying Paster
Exclusive Rosette Ecliptical Exclusive Native
Zetta Jet Tri Jet
Queen Zetta

Did he bite Pence?

In 2019, United States Vice President Mike Pence alleged that American Pharoah had bit him. American Pharoah´s breeding company denied the allegation.