The breeding rights for dual classic winner American Pharoah have been sold to Coolmore Stud, and he will stand at the operation's Kentucky-based Ashford Stud upon his retirement, owner/breeder Ahmed Zayat confirmed Wednesday morning.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Zayat said in an interview with the Herald-Leader that his Zayat Stables retains 100 percent of the colt's racing rights and that he will also retain an interest in his stallion rights.
"Nothing will change right now. The horse is mine 100 percent," Zayat said of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner. "He races under my management, I make all decisions. He races under our silks.
"When he retires, like any other horse, he will go to a farm and this farm will be Ashford. The Coolmore people are some of the greatest people in the world, they make stallions worldwide. They are some of the best in the business. They enjoy and love racing, they are the best partners I can possibly think of. They gave me a fabulous offer and I am very happy."
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On the heels of his Kentucky Derby and Preakness triumphs, American Pharoah is attempting to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to sweep the Triple Crown. Zayat maintains that even if the bay colt pulls off the task in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, he plans to keep American Pharoah in training through the remainder of his 3-year-old season.
"He is not going to retire (after the Belmont), I can tell you that," Zayat said. "I am not depriving myself and fans from continuing to see him race. He will race at least until the end of this year. I don't know if he will race at 4 or not, I presume not because I don't think any stud farm would like that. It would be very hard (to race at 4) because of his value."
Zayat did not disclose how much of an interest he will have in American Pharoah's stud rights but added "just to give you a sense of magnitude, depending on how attached I am to a horse, some stallions I have I stayed in for 75 percent, some I stayed for 50 percent, some I stayed for 25 percent. As you know, American Pharoah himself is a homebred."
American Pharoah has won six of seven career starts, including five Grade I victories, and was named the champion 2-year-old male for 2014. His lone defeat came in his career debut at Del Mar last Aug. 9 when he finished fifth.
Including American Pharoah, Coolmore Stud will have made stud deals for five of the last six horses to be named champion juvenile male including Lookin At Lucky (2009), Uncle Mo (2010), Hansen (2011) and Shanghai Bobby (2012). Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old male of 2013, is a gelding. Coolmore stood Hansen his first season and then sold him to South Korea in October 2013.
American Pharoah's sire, Pioneerof the Nile, stands at WinStar Farm for an advertised fee of $60,000.