AMERICAN PHAROAH STILL RULES
So, by now everyone knows American Pharoah tasted defeat for the first time since the initial race of his career. What does his second place finish in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga mean?
Much like many other occurrences in the wonderful world of Thoroughbred horse racing, the omens the sport emanates are a reflection of life. All his narrow loss at a track know as “the graveyard of champions” means is much like all of God’s other creatures, he too is mortal. With blood pulsing through his veins just like ours, he can have an “off” day same as anybody. The mighty Secretariat lost twice after winning the Triple Crown during his “magical” year. And yes, one was at Saratoga (Whitney Handicap) when he too was thought to be invincible. Nobody goes undefeated through life as there will always be ups and downs. The 2015 Travers was just another example of that for one particular individual.
This son of Pioneerof the Nile ran with conviction and great effort throughout so should we think any less of him for losing by less than a length?…Last time I checked he was the first horse in 37 years and 12th overall to win the Triple Crown. Like Forrest Gump says, “that’s all I have to say about that”.
Okay, let’s think about the next step. Now Pharoah will have a chance to rebound on the biggest stage, the Breeders’ Cup. Winning is always great, but defeat reveals character. How you handle it is what really shows your makeup. Barring injury or some other misfortune the sports world will be treated when Pharoah toes the track at Keeneland come October 31. And no matter the outcome, we all will see a true champion run again. The fact he lost throws a bit more intrigue into the mix as some stellar older horses and the conquering Keen Ice will be there. To quote Gump again, “life is like a box of chocolates”, but what Forrest did not say is no matter what’s inside, it’s always a treat!