There is no doubt that American Pharoah will be remembered as one of the greats of our or any generation. It is hard not to earn those honors when he became a Triple Crown Champion and the first ever, newly coined, Grand Slam Champion with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Now it is time for American Pharoah to rest, sort of. He has been handed over to the crew at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud after a short, but undoubtedly nerve racking 10 mile ride from Keeneland. The police escort ensured that he made it safe and the army of photographers, much larger than any other time, were there to catch a photo or two of the “private” moment when Bob Baffert and crew said their goodbyes.
Now it is on to a new era for the champion. It is time to stand stud for the rest of his life. For any perspective suitor that might want to make his impressive albeit brief company the fee has been set. That fee is $200,000. Not surprisingly, that fee is one of the highest ever for a horse without a proven record of successful breeding. His dad, Pioneer of the Nile was fetching a fee of $60,000 prior to his star son’s success. Now that fee has climbed to $125,000.
Of course that price still does not come with a guarantee. You see a foal must be the byproduct for payment to be assured. One of the last times there was such well-to-do was when the Hall of Famer, Cigar retired here in 1996. The sure thing with guaranteed genes turned out to be infertile. So you see there are no guarantees.
The transition can be a bit troublesome for some horses but American Pharoah has taken everything in stride to date so there is no reason to suspect otherwise. Just in case, he has a great babysitter in Thunder Gulch. You see, Thunder Gulch is a 23-year-old who is not as big on over exertion and frolicking like a younger partner would be.
Everything in horse racing and breeding is done with a plan in mind. This is nothing different. A healthy and fertile American Pharoah can book between 150 and 200 mares in a season. Stop and think about that math for a second. That equates to $30 – $40 million. Wow, and you thought winning the Classic was the payday huh?
What will those children be? Will they be a chip off the preverbal block or duds that are high priced mid-level runners? We are not going to find out tomorrow, his first children will be born in 2017 assuming all goes well. That puts them on the track in 2019. It is going to be a while but one thing is sure, American Pharoah will be living the good life for many years. Rest and enjoy champion, you have earned it.