Blog

Cover me: American Pharoah and the search for authenticity

American Pharoah after his muddy Preakness win. Courtesy the office of the governor of Maryland.

American Pharoah after his muddy Preakness win. Courtesy the office of the governor of Maryland.

What Anna wants, Anna gets – particularly when it comes to a sleek, gorgeous, well-muscled male.

And what Anna Wintour, Condé Nast creative director and Vogue editor, wants right now is American Pharoah.

Ahmed Zayat, who has pledged that the Pharoah will belong to the American people, has told Bloodhorse, which covers the Thoroughbred industry, that AP will grace the cover of the next issue of the fashion bible.

"We are breaking new territory," Zayat, who operates his family's Zayat Stables, said June 10 in a podcast interview with Bloodhorse.com.

I’ll say. Anna has featured some studs in her day – Tim Tebow (shirtless), Colin Kaepernick, her fave Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic (Speedo), Ryan Lochte (cover, with Serena Williams and Hope Solo at the beach). Now she has a soon-to-be real stud.

Got to hand it to Anna: She knows how to strike when the iron is hot. And right now nothing is hotter than the Pharoah. The No. 1 horse on the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, AP has everyone calling – the Haskell, the Travers, even Canterbury, a small Minnesotan track, is willing to put up $2 million to have him race there. England’s wondering if he can do the Royal Ascot as California Chrome, who’s become quite the international player, has. And AP will be parading Saturday, June 13, on his home turf of Churchill Downs before resuming training next week. (Poor David Letterman. He retired too soon.)

Steady, AP. You don’t want to overdo it. You’ve got to pick and choose to protect the brand.

Sports Illustrated’s controversial American Pharoah cover – a photograph of people taking photographs of the Triple Crown finish – has nothing on Mary Cassatt’s “In the Loge” – an 1878 oil in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston that is the quintessence of postmodernism.

Sports Illustrated’s controversial American Pharoah cover – a photograph of people taking photographs of the Triple Crown finish – has nothing on Mary Cassatt’s “In the Loge” – an 1878 oil in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston that is the quintessence of postmodernism.

Meanwhile, controversy over the Sports Illustrated AP cover, which shows the finish of the Belmont – way behind the fans with their raised cell phone cameras. (Gee, it’s almost as annoying as standing behind them.) HuffPo complained that the cover reflects everything wrong with modern society: We’re so busy recording life for Facebook that we’re not really living it. That’s true but as I posted on the blog, there’s another issue here. I know it’s very post-modern to have people taking pictures of people taking pictures (actually it’s very 19th century. See Mary Cassatt’s 1878 oil “In the Loge,” her painting of a man looking at a woman looking at the opera. See also Thomas Struth’s contemporary “Museum Photographs” series), but The Pharoah won the race. Let’s see the horse.

Now thanks to Anna – and no doubt Annie Leibovitz – we will.

Question is: Will AP pose in a Speedo?