American Pharoah

VERSAILLES, Ky. (WDRB) -- Life after winning the Triple Crown is lavish and a lot quieter, but it can be argued it's just as busy.

Retired from racing, American Pharoah and Justify's sole job now is simply to produce offspring. They're both in Versailles now, where Ashford Stud Farm Stallion Manager Richard Barry oversees their breeding.

"We have them trained to breed on command," Barry said. "We're not allowed to do any artificial insemination. It has to be a live cover. When the horses come in here, we have to show them the facts of life."

So far, the "Big Boys," as they're referred to on the farm, have adjusted well. American Pharoah already has 2-year-olds on the race track this year.

"A child could handle American Pharoah," Barry said. "To this day, a child could still handle him."

The same can't be said for last year's Derby winner.

"Justify is a bit of a boy," Barry said. "You need to know what you're doing around him. He's not a bad horse by any stretch of the imagination, but he's still a stallion."

In addition to their breeding duties, American Pharoah and Justify are undoubtedly the main attraction on farm tours to the public.

"It's nice for the fans to come and see them once they've retired, see them in their new careers, see how well-looked-after they are and the life that they lead, because it is so different from the track," said Robyn Murray, sales and marketing coordinator at Coolmore. "And it's great to be able to educate people to that end as well, just to show them what it is that their favorite horses do once they've left the track."

Trainer Bob Baffert will take a break from Churchill Downs later this week to check in on his former horses. On Monday, Justify got a surprise visit from his former exercise rider, Humberto Gomez, who can't help but gush about the Triple Crown winner.

"When I started working for Bob, I got to the barn, and Justify had just come," Gomez said. "He was in one of the last stalls. I was just walking by, and I saw this horse that was so big. And he was just standing, looking at everything. I went to ask, like, who is that horse? They said, 'Oh, he just came from the sales. His name is Justify.' I kept thinking on him, so I went back, and I took a picture. I took several pictures. Then the next day, I see my list, and he was on my list, not knowing that he was going to be good or anything. I just liked his presence. It was very, like, wow."

"Wow" is right. In the scenic hills of Versailles, it can be easy to forget the tremendous history inside the Ashford stables.

"This is going to sound so cheesy, but it's just the presence of greatness: American Pharoah and Justify," Murray said. "Every time you walk into (the barns) it just puts a smile on your face. It never gets old seeing these horses. When you think about, cumulatively, what it is they all have achieved, the position the proven sires are in, we're very fortunate."

American Pharoah and Justify will go into quarantine in July before they are taken to Australia for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.

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