50ºF

Visiting American Pharoah's training grounds

The 12th Triple Crown winner trained in Citra, FL

photo

Citra, Fla. – What began as a late start out of the gates ended in victory as American Pharoah MADE history; and the folks who helped train him as a baby couldn't be more proud.

American Pharoah started out at McKathan Brothers Training Center in Citra, Fla.

"We would sit here in the mornings and every time he would come by, you're like, 'wow, this is something. It's something.'"

Chris Alexander, the farm trainer and manager, said from the get go, American Pharoah caught many eyes.

While he had a rough first race in August of last year, American Pharoah proved to be a star.

In the last 23 years, 21 horses at the training center have been starters in the Kentucky Derby. Alexander said the secret is a combination of good trainers, owners and stock -- and not giving up.

"We've been doing it long enough, I think we're pretty good at spotting talent," said Alexander. "There's some that need a little prodding, and you try different things and boom."

A group of babies will arrive in August and September and begin their training. Alexander said like many athletes, some have what it takes and others don't.

"It's no different if you're training for a marathon, or a triathlon," said Alexander. Every day you're training."

But so far, Alexander said American Pharoah is the best he's ever seen and is proud of all he's done.