New show to celebrate “horse of a lifetime” American Pharoah

American Pharoah has been named both US Horse of the Year and the Longines World's Best Racehorse for 2015.
Everything American Pharoah will be on show in a new exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum from May 1. © Mathea Kelley

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is being celebrated at the Kentucky Derby Museum with a special exhibit opening in May.

Dubbed “the horse of a lifetime”, the new exhibit takes an in-depth look at the champion himself throughout his successful racing career and his place in history as the 12th Triple Crown winner. The exhibit tells what American Pharoah has meant to the public, from die-hard horseracing fans, to those with a renewed interest in the sport and brand-new fans all over the world.

American Pharoah pictured winning the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
American Pharoah pictured winning the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2016. © Skip Dickstein

His connections will also go under the spotlight: 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 reached his dreams of capturing racing’s elusive prize and Victor Espinoza, a veteran jockey who attained Triple Crown glory after getting so close on two previous occasions. The exhibit will delve into the stories of all three, how they arrived at this point in their careers and what the unique story of American Pharoah means to them.

American Pharoah’s Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown trophies will be displayed together for the first-time within the exhibit.

“We are thrilled that our fans will be able to view all four Triple Crown trophies together at the Kentucky Derby Museum. We thank the Museum for coordinating this wonderful exhibit that is a fitting tribute to American Pharoah, one of the greatest champions of all time. A once in a lifetime horse for myself and my family,” said Ahmed Zayat, Owner of Zayat Stables.

Many never-seen-before artifacts and personal mementos from each of the winning connections will also be displayed, including items from Baffert’s brief career as a jockey, Espinoza’s costume from his appearance on Dancing with the Stars and racing equipment American Pharoah used during his career. The exhibit will also highlight exclusive interviews with Ahmed Zayat, Justin Zayat, Baffert and Espinoza with interactive touch-screen displays.

Baffert and his wife, Jill, will open the exhibit on Sunday, May 1. Other members of the winning team may also be at the Museum for the exhibit’s opening.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since American Pharoah began his run for the Triple Crown,” Baffert said.

“It was the most unbelievable experience that seemed to go by in a flash. The next best thing to having him in my barn is to see his journey celebrated in the Kentucky Derby Museum where his triumphs and thrills he brought to so many of us will live forever. Jill and I are honored to be a part of the exhibit. We can’t wait to see it,” Baffert said.

Patrick Armstrong, President of the Kentucky Derby Museum, said American Pharoah’s racing career had brought great enthusiasm and interest to the world of Thoroughbred racing.

“We wanted to curate a spectacular exhibit that celebrates this magnificent horse. His connections were always willing to share him with the world and in continuing that spirit, the Zayat family; the Bafferts and Victor Espinoza have graciously worked with us to create a unique experience in honoring American Pharoah’s legacy.”

The “American Pharoah” exhibit opening will be the featured event of Kentucky Derby Museum’s Fan Fest Day Presented by Derby Experiences, the Official package provider to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby, and host of the Oaks night Fillies & Lilies Party.

Along with the exhibit opening, the day will feature specialty tours, jockey panel, book signings, kids’ activity area, gallery talks, celebrity handicapping contest, bourbon tastings and more.

Tickets are $15 for adult, $7 for children 5-14. Children under five are free. Fan Fest Day tickets are available now.

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