Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert continues to see all the right signs from his Triple Crown contender American Pharoah, who took his first gallop over the track at Belmont Park on Thursday morning.
"When he finally came down the stretch, he was moving so fluidly, like he usually does," Baffert said. "So it was a very positive gallop. It looks like he's moving along just like he always moves along. It was very comforting to see that. You can tell he still has his energy."
If American Pharoah is to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, he'll have to beat seven fresher horses and handle the unfamiliar 1 ½-mile distance. Baffert joked the horse doesn't seem to grasp how daunting a task he faces.
"He doesn't know he has to go any extra distance," he said. "So we're going to surprise him with that one."
This is the fourth time Baffert has come to Belmont Park with a shot at the Triple Crown, and he's learned he can't try to please every person seeking an interview or some other form of attention. He said that attitude and American Pharoah's vigorous form have helped him relax.
He shared his outlook with jockey Victor Espinoza when the two met up Wednesday.