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American Pharoah to work out at Churchill Downs, not Belmont Park

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah has

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah has his face washed by groom Eduardo Luna following his return to Churchill Downs, May 18, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. Credit: AP / Timothy D. Easley

Triple Crown contender American Pharoah returned Monday to Churchill Downs, where he will be stabled at trainer Bob Baffert's Barn 33. The plan is to ship him to New York on June 3, three days before the 147th Belmont Stakes.

Owner Ahmed Zayat's colt arrived in Louisville at 1:58 p.m. after a 1-hour, 14-minute flight from Baltimore. He was taken by van to the track where he won the Kentucky Derby. He was led off the van at 2:36 p.m., then was walked and bathed.

He spent the previous six days at Pimlico, where he dominated Saturday's Preakness Stakes for his sixth consecutive victory.

Jimmy Barnes, Baffert's assistant trainer for the past 16 years, will supervise American Pharoah at Churchill. Barnes said the horse will walk around the barn for the next four days, when the goal is "to put a little weight back on him."

On Sunday morning, before leaving for Los Angeles and his base at Santa Anita, Baffert said: "We'll give him a light week, just let him get his feet under him a little bit and relax. It's like going to the spa for a week."

Baffert said Sunday that his superstar would have his only timed workout or workouts at Churchill, not Belmont Park. He is following the same routine he did with his other three Triple Crown contenders.

Among the possible opponents who will try to prevent the first Triple Crown sweep since Affirmed in 1978 are Materiality, Carpe Diem and Madefromlucky, all trained by Todd Pletcher; Frosted, Mubtaahij, Preakness runner-up Tale of Verve, Keen Ice, Conquest Curlinate, Frammento and War Story.

Reserved seats sold out. The New York Racing Association announced that all reserved seats are sold out for Belmont Stakes day, June 6. General admission tickets, which do not include seating, are available through Ticketmaster. NYRA has capped the crowd at 90,000.

New York Sports