American Pharoah in the Matt Winn, 2016
The Kentucky Derby Museum celebrated American Pharoah, racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner, with a special exhibit telling the story of how this 37-year drought ended and what it meant to the public. The exhibit closed on January 1, 2017.
The exhibit, ‘AMERICAN PHAROAH,’ looked at the winning connections: Ahmed Zayat, a successful businessman who has become one of the industry’s prominent owners and breeders in just ten years; Bob Baffert, the Hall of Fame trainer who made three previous attempts at capturing racing’s elusive prize and Victor Espinoza, a veteran jockey who came up short of Triple Crown glory on two previous occasions. The exhibit delved into the stories of all three, how they arrived to this point and what the unique story of American Pharoah meant to them.
The story extended beyond the connections. The exhibit also looked at the champion himself. It looked at his entire racing career and charted what made him great. His unique temperament, outstanding skill set and dogged determination are among his most valuable characteristics. Additionally, the Museum considered the public reaction to American Pharoah: how the media covered his achievements, what those in the industry thought about the accomplishment and what it meant for his second career as a stallion at Coolmore America’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
‘AMERICAN PHAROAH’ featured artifacts never before seen by the public, as well as interactive media exclusive to the Museum. The objects highlighted are the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown trophies won by American Pharoah. It was the first time these landmarks of achievement had been publically displayed together. These trophies, generously loaned by Zayat Stables, were supported by artifacts from the personal collections of Bob Baffert and Victor Espinoza. Kentucky Derby Museum team members also had the chance to sit down with Ahmed and Justin Zayat, Bob Baffert and Victor Espinoza for extensive interviews, parts of which were included in the exhibit.