American Pharoah trots to Albany Intl.

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – American Pharoah arrived at the Saratoga Race Course Wednesday afternoon after touching down at Albany International Airport.

The Triple Crown winner arrived in style on Air Horse One. After he arrived, Pharoah was loaded into a trailer with his barn pony, Smokey, to make his way to the race track.

“What a great day,” Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said.

Fan favorite Funny Cide also made the trip to the Capital Region.

“To have two great horses coming in together is unbelievable,” McCoy said.

Funny Cide exited the plane after American Pharoah.

“Typically that would be the biggest event of the meet,” Funny Cide owner Jack Knowlton said. “Him coming and being in the paddock but not this year.”

That, of course, is because all eyes – and bets – are on Pharoah.

“This is the first time in 37 years that our sport has crowned a Triple Crown champion, and on Saturday, the entire world is going to be focusing their eyes right here at the Saratoga Race Course for the running of the Travers,” NYRA Director of Communications John Durso said.

American Pharoah will have two workouts on the track before Saturday’s race: one Thursday morning and one Friday morning.

Friday’s workout is open to the public and it’s happening between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The post time draw was held Monday night, and Pharoah will start in post two. He is the odds on favorite to win the 146th running of the mid-summer derby on the morning line.

Texas Red, the winner of the Jim Dandy, was assigned post four, and Frosted, who finished second to Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes, and Keen Ice, who also finished second to Pharoah in the Haskell, will start next to each other in the 6 and 7 holes, respectively.

It’s a highly-talented ten horse field.

“I mean, Pharoah’s obviously the top of the class, but I think this is a really good class,” trainer Dale Romans said. “Frosted’s good; Texas Red’s good; my horse is good. We’re all unfortunately to be in a year like the Secretariat year. There were some great horses running behind him.”

The Saratoga Race Course is called the graveyard of champions, and it holds true in the Travers.

Only one Triple Crown winner has ever won the mid-summer derby and that was Whirlaway in 1941.

The stakes sold out at the cap of 50,000 people. The Travers purse will increase to $1.6 million if and only if American Pharoah races.

Bets for Travers can’t be placed until Friday.

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