Brilliant but untested, American Pharoah was put to a fight in the Kentucky Derby and won.
Sent off as the 5-2 favorite by the record crowd of 170,513, the brown colt rallied in the stretch to beat Firing Line by a length Saturday and deliver trainer Bob Baffert's fourth Derby win and first since 2002.
"It's a fantasy moment for us," said a joyous Baffert, surrounded by his three older sons and his youngest, 10-year-old Bode, who jumped up and down and waved his arms in celebration. Baffert also saddled third-place Dortmund, the other part of his lethal 1-2 punch in the 141st Derby. Firing Line finished second.
"We were ready to rumble," Baffert said.