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Big Sport of Turfdom Award Goes to Team American Pharaoh

Added on: Nov. 24, 2015

The Big Sport of Turfdom Award is an honour that recognises a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and Thoroughbred racing publicists. The Big Sport of Turfdom Award has been handed out annually by the Turf Publicists of America (TPA) since 1966 and this year’s winner was Team American Pharoah.

Team American Pharaoh is comprised of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, owner Ahmed Zayat, Zayat Stables racing manager Justin Zayat and jockey Victor Espinoza. Voting was presided over by a panel of approximately 150 active members of the Turf Publicists of America group and the winner of the 2015 Big Sport of Turfdom Award was announced on Tuesday 17th November.

“The Big Sport of Turfdom is a big deal,” said Hall of Famer, Bob Baffert. He then went on to say, “I remember getting it the first time and being blown away by all of the really important people that had won it before. It means a lot to be recognized by the publicists because they're so close to all of the good stories that are out there in racing.” Bob Baffert was also talking about when he won this same award back in 1997 when Silver Charm won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

American Pharoah’s trainer, Ahmed Zayat, said, “Owning and campaigning American Pharoah has been an honor, a privilege, and the thrill of a lifetime.” He continued, “What topped it off was sharing American Pharoah with the fans. Indeed he is America's horse and we are very grateful on behalf of Team Pharoah to accept this prestigious award.”

Jockey Victor Espinoza said, “Thank you to the Turf Publicists for awarding Team Pharoah this honor. It was a great experience to be teamed with such a magical and talented horse and great people. Thank you also to all the members of the media that followed along on our journey making history.”

American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015, claiming a victory in the Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, becoming only the twelfth ever horse to win all three prestigious events in the same year. The last time a horse managed this enormous feat was back in 1973 when Ron Turcotte rode Secretariat to an historic victory.

American Pharoah is a 3-year-old who has already amassed incredible career earnings topping US$8,650,300.00. The other major wins over the past couple of years have included the Del Mar Futurity and the FrontRunner Stakes (both in 2014) and also the Rebel Stakes, the Arkansas Derby, the Haskell Invitational and the Breeders' Cup Classic (all in 2015). All of the comments contained within this article came directly from America’s best racing website.