American Pharoah welcomed back to Churchill Downs after Triple C - WDRB 41 Louisville News

American Pharoah welcomed back to Churchill Downs after Triple Crown win

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - It was arrival fit for royalty. Or American Pharoah, who just won the Triple Crown. 

The horse's plane left New York and landed in Louisville early Sunday afternoon. His ride to Churchill Downs included a police escort. 

"He's just a beautiful horse," said Penny Hagan, who was at the track Sunday. "He's big, I mean, he makes running look easy, like he's not trying." 

American Pharoah was taken to the backside with fans waiting and ready to snap pictures. Even those who didn't catch a glimpse of him after his historic Belmont Stakes win are happy he's there. 

"We talked about that - him being here. It's really neat," Hagan said. 

Officials with Churchill Downs say American Pharoah will make another appearance Saturday at the "Downs After Dark" Stephen Foster Handicap celebration. 

"Right now the plan is - and Bob Baffert has confirmed that it's gonna happen - that they will bring American Pharoah over that night, and he will parade before the fans on the race track," said John Asher, Churchill Downs Vice President of Racing Communications. 

"I'm gonna assume that means he'll spend some time on the paddock where people can come back and admire." 

It's been 37 years since a horse has won the Triple Crown. American Pharaoh now joins an elite club - one of just 12. 

"He's a special horse. Special night, special horse," horse racing fan Ryan Britton said. 

While many in the area have followed American Pharoah's races, Churchill Downs officials hope his Triple Crown win will help bring more attention to the sport. 

"I think it gives it at least temporarily a higher level of visibility," Asher said about the Triple Crown victory. "I think people are enchanted with this horse and with his accomplishment." 

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