American Pharoah Got His Start in Florida

(Editor’s Note: this article is a condensed version of a news release from the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association)

American Pharoah spent his early training time at Florida’s McKathan Brothers Training Center near Ocala, Florida, it was noted by the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA) after the colt’s acclaimed victory in the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

“This is proof positive of the global impact and reach of Florida’s prestigious and economically beneficial horse racing industry,” FHBPA President Bill White said of the historical accomplishment. “The cheering throngs packing the Belmont Park stands today in New York should underscore to each and every Florida policymaker the monumental importance of what real horse racing is all about.”

American Pharaoh became the 12th Thoroughbred to win the Triple Crown–an annual series of top Thoroughbred races consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes (pictured above) and Belmont Stakes.

The Daily Racing Form reported earlier this year that, before the star colt arrived in trainer Bob Baffert’s barn in 2014, Florida’s Thoroughbred horse racing professionals gave the Triple Crown winner his earliest care and most basic lessons, and were among the first to see that glimmer of promise.

“He always made good grades,” said J.B. McKathan, who with his brother Kevin broke American Pharoah at their training center near Ocala. “He’s like the quarterback.”

The FHBPA represents over 6,000 Thoroughbred racehorse owners and trainers who do business in Florida.


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