The winner of the only race that American Pharoah has ever lost returned to the track Sunday, one day after his former rival won the Triple Crown.
Om finished third as the longest shot in a four-horse race, the Grade III Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The 11⁄16-mile race was won by Gimme Da Lute, who is trained by Bob Baffert, the man who sent American Pharoah to the winner's circle Saturday at Belmont Park as the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
The biggest achievement so far in the short racing career of Om came on Aug. 9 of last year, when he won a 61/2-furlong maiden race at Del Mar by 71/4 lengths at odds of 22-1. The 7-5 favorite that day was the previously unraced American Pharoah, who finished fifth in a nine-horse field, 91/4 lengths behind Om.
Things changed in a hurry for the beaten favorite. And for the horse that beat him, too.
Baffert decided to take the blinkers off American Pharoah after the less-than-stellar debut. It was also the only time that Martin Garcia rode him in a race, though Garcia — who finished third on Dortmund in the Kentucky Derby — remains American Pharoah's exercise rider.
With Victor Espinoza aboard, American Pharoah won his next seven races, including all three legs of the Triple Crown.
Om, trained by Dan Hendricks, has had a rough go of it since his promising victory.
The son of Munnings did not race again for more than eight months after that win at Del Mar because of a leg injury. Om finally returned to the track in April, finishing fifth in a stakes race at Santa Anita.
He followed that up with a victory in an allowance/optional claiming race over the Santa Anita turf course last month, his most recent start before Sunday's third-place finish.
Om was bred in Kentucky by Lavin Bloodstock, Bernie Sams and William S. Farish Jr. He was first sold at the 2013 Keeneland September Yearling sale for $60,000.