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May 22, 2015

American Pharoah advances to galloping


Louisville, KY ( - Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah has begun galloping at Churchill Downs with just two weeks until the 147th Belmont Stakes on June 6.

The 2014 Eclipse Award winner, trained by Bob Baffert for Zayat Stables, galloped 1 3/16 miles, the Preakness distance, over Churchill Downs' main track Friday morning with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez.

"It went nice, didn't seem like he was tired or anything," said Alvarez. "He came back pretty much the same (after Derby). So far, no difference."

American Pharoah is being looked after at Churchill by Baffert's chief assistant Jim Barnes.

"It went very nice," Barnes said about the gallop. "He just had a 1 3/16-mile gallop today, but it went very nice. He's perfect - just the way he always is - so we'll gallop a little bit further maybe tomorrow (Saturday) and then by Sunday we'll be back to his normal gallop at a mile-and-a-half.

"The best horses cover the track well - they have a large stride and they're big movers, which he is. Usually the good ones are like that."

Conquest Curlinate, trained by Mark Casse for Conquest Stables, had a five- furlong workout at Churchill on Friday. The colt, second in both the Illinois Derby and Peter Pan Stakes, was timed in 59.80 seconds.

"The way he runs he doesn't show a whole lot of early speed," assistant trainer Norman Casse said. "He's always been a much more effective route horse obviously, so we think the distance is just perfect for him. Plus, he has a race over the track which we think is going to be pretty important. He obviously liked it."

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