Expert Clocker Gary Young on American Pharoah Bandwagon
Expert Clocker Gary Young on American Pharoah Bandwagon: Gary Young has been on American Pharoah’s bandwagon from the get-go, and with a Triple Crown in close proximity, the private clocker isn’t about to bail out now. He knows it won’t be easy, however. There have been 13 horses that attempted to capture racing’s most elusive prize since Affirmed was the last to do it in 1978. All have failed. There are reasons, be they legitimate or theoretical.
“This is going to be Pharoah’s fourth race in eight weeks and it’s going to be a mile and a half,” said Gary Young, a keen and respected observer of the Thoroughbred for 35 years.
“If they’re ever going to beat him, it’s going to be this race. I think he’s the best horse in this crop by more than a little bit, and I think he’s the best horse I’ve seen in a while. Obviously, I’ve been on record as saying that. He’s still got to prove that, but as far as horses going through the Triple Crown, I think he’s the best I’ve seen in some time.
“Looking at the race, he’s going to be in front. The big question is which one of the main contenders is going to be the first one to go after him? Do you want to be the first one to take him on? You’d rather be the second or third after someone else has softened him up.
“I respect Materiality, I respect Keen Ice. If you watch Keen Ice’s race in the Kentucky Derby, when everyone else was shoving for all they were worth at the three-eighths pole, he was passing horses under a pull and he had to steady for more than an eighth of a mile (eventually finishing seventh, beaten nine lengths by American Pharoah, who won by a length). I respect those horses, but I think Pharoah’s the best horse.”
That said, should Pharoah do it, would it give racing a welcome bump?
“Would it help? Yeah,” Young opined. “But there is still going to be trouble filling entries and there’s still going to be in-fighting among different factions in racing.
“There have been 13 horses that have attempted to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, and there were people in the business who questioned whether they were worthy of winning it.”
“As far as talent, I don’t think anyone really questions whether American Pharoah is worthy of being a Triple Crown winner.
“Is he going to do it? I happen to think he will. I acknowledge that (winning) four races in eight weeks is not an easy thing, and a mile and a half has become an antiquated distance on the main track, but if he breaks and makes the lead and relaxes like I think he will, when they go after him and try to tackle him at the half-mile pole, they better be tied on.”
Quotes provided by Santa Anita Park.
The 147th running of the belmont Stakes takes place on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The third and final jewel of the Triple Crown will be the eleventh race scheduled for 6:50 p.m. ET and will air on NBC.