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Horsing around: American Pharoah becomes a stud

 American Pharoah racing to Triple Crown glory at the Belmont. Photograph by Mike Lizzi.

American Pharoah racing to Triple Crown glory at the Belmont. Photograph by Mike Lizzi.

Days before Valentine’s Day – Feb. 12 to be exact – American Pharoah had his first date with a mare named Untouched Talent at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky.

"I am thrilled. The mare that is in heat and ovulating is the dam of Bodemeister, a stallion I raced and own," American Pharoah's owner Ahmed Zayat said. "Very excited. Can't wait for little Pharos.”

If all goes well, the first of them will be born 11 months from now. Meanwhile, American Pharoah has taken to his new occupation the way he once took to the track.

“They just told me the first time that they brought him for what they call a test breeding, he was just like he was on the racetrack,” Zayat said. “A champion.”

Indeed, AP seems to be the best kind of performer – competitive enough to be a winner but not so competitive to be difficult off the track.

The Bloomberg article in which Zayat’s quote appears recounts the tale of War Emblem, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner who, like the Pharoah, was trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Victor Espinoza, but who was a cantankerous stud. (The article mentions that several blogs and websites think War Emblem is gay.)

With a $50,000 donation from Baffert, War Emblem came back from standing stud in Japan to be stabled at Old Friends, the Kentucky retirement home.

Yep, breeding is something of a crap shoot. But then, isn’t that true of  life?