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American Pharoah

American Pharoah

The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

History was made at the Belmont Stakes in Summer 2015 when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown title, the first racehorse to achieve the momentous feat since Affirmed in 1978. Pharoah was the crowd favorite, as spectators had anxiously anticipated the American Thoroughbred’s victory, already a proven winner at the year’s earlier Kentucky Derby and Preakness races.

By all appearances, American Pharoah has led a successful career, unmarred by any controversy as he was the undisputed champion-only twelve horses total in American history have won the Triple Crown. Unfortunately however, his training team has not fared nearly as well.

With accusations ranging from sour business transactions to poor gambling practices to active litigation with bankruptcy courts and other legal cases pending, his owner Ahmed Zayat has many rooting against him. The flamboyant Egyptian-American businessman has been leading a double-life that has threatened to overwhelm his small empire. Victor Espinoza, the famed racehorse’s relentless jockey, left rural Mexico only to face harsh conditions on a farm where he had to overcome his fear of horses before learning that he had a gift for race riding. Finally, Bob Baffert, American Pharoah’s trainer, has an interesting arc that includes tremendous wins, personal losses, and controversial medication violations.

Beginning with American Pharoah’s modest showing at his first maiden race in 2014, New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape recounts the winning thoroughbred’s explosive racing career by weaving in details of Zayat’s questionable business practices, Espinoza’s heartbreaking loss with California Chrome last year, and Baffert’s temperamental, unreliable track record. By interviewing the parties involved and taking readers behind the scenes of the making of America’s latest Triple Crown winner, Drape unfurls a tale “that transcends athletics, a story of adolescence and small-town life” (Publishers Weekly), and all the corruption, illegal gambling, and secretive business practices that can flourish in the shadows of greatness.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Sports & Recreation / Horse Racing

On Sale: April 11th 2017

Price: $16 / $21 (CAD)

Page Count: 304

ISBN-13: 9780316268851

What's Inside

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Praise

"The fleet-footed American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise rides into the winner's circle via effortless prose, well-reported insider details, a compelling human cast of characters - and an irresistible horse: smart, focused and fast."—USA Today, 3 1/2 stars

"The tale [Drape] spins ends up being one that transcends athletics, a
story of adolescence and smalltown life. . . . From the opening practice
to the Redmen's final game, Drape flawlessly paints a picture of how
Smith Center achieves perfection year after year. . . . Drape gives the
reader a team worth rooting for."—Publishers Weekly

"American Pharoah is lucky to have Joe Drape. Actually, they're lucky to have each other. No horse has given the preeminent chronicler of 21st century thoroughbreds better material and no other writer could do justice to such a terrific athlete and story. They deserve each other-and anyone who cares about horse racing deserves this book."—Jeremy Schaap, author of Cinderella Man and Triumph

"There is much to admire in this comprehensive and often candid book."
Washington Post

"There is much to savor in the 292 pages...Drape delivers lively accounts of the sport's biggest events and the assorted newsmakers, on and off the track."—Bergen Record

"Drape takes the reader behind the gate for the inside story of American Pharoah's climb, and to the track for every dust-flying, crowd-roaring minute."—Garden and Gun

"Nobody writes about horses like Joe Drape. He takes you around the track, makes you hear the roar, feel the thrill, see the rich, shadowy, behind-the-scenes world so few us really understand. His writing is as effortless as it is necessary. American Pharoah is an epic American classic, a modern-day Seasbiscuit. If you read just one book about horse racing, read this one."—Drew Jubera, author of Must Win: A Season of Survival for a Town and Its Team

"A page-turner .... With his deep knowledge of horse racing, and sharp eye for detail, Drape weaves a compelling narrative from an unlikely cast of characters around an even more unlikely four-legged hero."—National Book Review

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