Pharaoh Earnings Top $8.5 Mil with Breeders WinBy Serena Slocum October 31, 2015
After a wire-to-wire win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keenland Race Track in Kentucky, American Pharoah is galloping off to stud with a hefty $8.65 million, making him one of the highest earning Thoroughbreds in U.S. history. Since becoming the first horse in 37-years to win the Triple Crown, Pharoah has earned $4 million for owner Zayat Racing Stables. His 6 ½-length victory today over second-placed Effinex in the $5 million Breeders Cup Classic contributed $2.75 million to the total.
The stallion’s win in the four competitions — the top Breeders’ Cup race, on top of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes — makes him the winner of racing’s Grand Slam. He is the first horse to accomplish this in the 31 years since the Breeders Cup was founded (in 1984).
Prior to the Kentucky Derby, American Pharoah’s breeding rights were purchased for an undisclosed sum by the Coolmore stud, an international breeding operation with a U.S. farm in Versailles, KY. The deal stipulated that Pharoah could race through the Breeders’ Cup, though many racing pundits urged the Zayat family to retire him immediately following the Belmont Stakes, fearful that further racing might result in injury.
“What would he do for all those months after June, just sit around? He loves to race, he’s happiest racing,” Zayat Racing manager Justin Zayat said.
Pharoah is scheduled to begin breeding in February, and he is already being marketed on the Coolmore website for $200,000 per union, putting him at the upper echelon of the sport. (CNBC reports that one other horse, the well-established breeder Tapit, earns up to $300,000 per stud.) With up to 100 breedings a year possible, the earnings potential is in the range of $20 million per annum.
The Zayat family bred American Pharoah and still own his sire, Pioneerof the Nile, whose stud fee has climbed to more than $100,000 per stud thanks to his famous son. The family also retains ownership of a 1-year-old full sister to Pharoah who is just beginning her track training.
Of the Breeders’ Cup Classic win, Pharoah trainer Bob Baffert said, “He gave everybody what they came to see today. That’s what horse racing is about.” The 2015 Breeders Cup meet was the first to be held at Keenland.
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