IMAGES | Around 150 foals expected by Triple Crown champion American Pharoah
He ruled the racetrack, now, American Pharoah is a stunning stallion with around 150 foals to be born in just a few months.
VERSAILLES, Ky. (WDRB) -- He ruled the racetrack, now, American Pharoah is a stunning stallion with around 150 foals to be born in just a few months.
It is a different world for the Triple Crown winner, who got accustomed to cameras and fans following him around. Since last November, he has lived on a 2,000 acre farm in Versailles, Kentucky. "Now that he's retired on the track, he kind of has to prove himself again as a stallion," said Scott Calder, with Coolmore America's Ashford Stud.
Calder says around 150 mares are expecting foals by American Pharoah. "I guess for people in the horse business it'll be big news and for fans alike, everyone likes the newborn foals in the spring."
Breeders from all over the world have shipped their mares to mate with American Pharoah in Versailles, coming from Japan, the Middle East, Europe and Ireland. "He's an international commodity, a Triple Crown Winner means a lot in America, but all through the breeding circles all over the world a lot of people paid attention when he won the Triple Crown," said Calder.
Coolmore has 13 stallions on the roster this year. Calder says Pharoah's $200,000 stud fee is the highest for a first season sire. "The demand for American Pharoah exceeded supply so to speak, so we did have to turn people away," said Calder.
Pharoah's been at Ashford since last November, enjoying royal treatment, relishing in attention from tours. He has even raised thousands of dollars for charities through items donated for auctions.
"He's just such a laid back, easy-going horse, he just kind of takes everything without any fuss," said Calder.
Calder says the farm hopes American Pharoah will have a long and successful breeding career. The oldest active stallion at Ashford is 22 years old, but Calder says every horse is different.
The Triple Crown champ has taken well to being a stallion. During the February to June breeding season, he may have taken part in three breeding sessions a day. "Because he was so successful he's been supported with the highest quality mares you can possibly get. We put a lot of emphasis on the sire, but the dams and mares are very important, too," Calder explained.
Some impressive mares are in foal to American Pharoah including Ivanavinalot, the mother of Songbird, one of the biggest stars in the U.S. this year. Arch's Gal Edith, the mother of Kentucky Derby and Preaknesss winner I'll Have Another, is also pregnant by Pharoah.
Another one to watch is Take Charge Lady, the 2013 Broodmare of the Year. Untouched Talent, the dam of 2012 Derby and Preakness runner up Bodemeister is expected to have American Pharoah's first foal due in January. "We're kind of expecting her to be one of the first few, and she's here at Ashford and we'll be monitoring her closely," said Calder.
She is one of about 20 mares pregnant by Pharoah, on the farm. Not only does American Pharoah's lineage trace back to Secretariat--so does hers. "We look at the mares record themselves, were they successful on the track or have they produced foals that have already been successful and you can also look at the backing of the generations of their family," said Calder.
Starting in 2019, American Pharoah foals will be racing each other, and Derby 2020 could see an exciting line-up of his offspring. "At some point, they will be competing against each other. Certainly it's in his benefit to have a good crop of foals on the ground. There's more chances that there will be a future champion amongst them," said Calder.
Just as horse enthusiasts had to wait for his historic Triple Crown win, they must now wait to see if greatness will be passed down.
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