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American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise
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American Pharoah: The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,488 ratings  ·  254 reviews
History was made at the 2015 Belmont Stakes when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the first since Affirmed in 1978. As magnificent as the champion is, the team behind him has been all too human while on the road to immortality.

Written by an award-winning New York Times sportswriter, American Pharoah is the definitive account not only of how the ethereal colt won the
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Hachette Books
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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 ·  1,488 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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Jun 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: z2018
This is an interesting two page essay stretched out into a tedious and weird book. There was way too much detail about horse sex, horse birth, and pedigrees.
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
“The three hardest things to predict the outcome of are a bowl game, a love affair, and a horse race.”

As a native Kentuckian and sometime racing fan, I enjoyed this glimpse into the breeding and training process, and the life of one of the greatest horses to ever run. Having been to both Churchill (not the derby, but other races; once being the Breeder’s Cup) and Keeneland many times, I can appreciate the pomp and circumstance involved.
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, non-fiction
I loved this book. It wasn't all sticky-sweet but addressed the good and the bad while still making the main focus of the book the horse. American Pharoah was my first Triple Crown and I still can't watch videos of him without tears.
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a reading challenge had the category "book involving a sport", I admit that I was not looking forward to that one. But then this book came across my radar as a free download from Audible. I am glad that I listened to this book.

It was entertaining, informative and not at all boring... which was not a combination I expected about a book about a sport. Despite knowing that American Pharoah won the Triple Crown (I watched the final race on TV to see history being made), I still found myself
I'm not much into horseracing, but for whatever reason, the Triple Crown fascinates me and I rarely miss any Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, or Belmont Stakes. I watched California Chrome fail in his bid in 2014 to win this hardest of championships. I also saw American Pharoah win it all the very next year in 2015, the first time a Triple Crown winner was christened since Affirmed did it in 1978.

This audiobook was given away by Audible in celebration of their horse, named Audible, running in
As I said in my updates when I first started listening to this, last year, Audible gave a free audio copy of this book away to all members when a horse named Audible ran in the Kentucky Derby. Because I have the Audible subscription that gives me two credits a month and two books is typically all I am able to listen to in that span of time, it took me a year to get around to listening to American Pharoah: The Untold Story, but since it is now May, and was almost time for the Derby again, which ...more
Roman Kurys
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
It’s been awhile since I took on a non fiction story. It seemed like a good time to venture into the unknown.

There are times when that kind of experimentation works and its great. There are times when it does not.
This is one of the times that it did not work and it was not great.

Characters: 3

Arguably the horse is the main character in the story, although we do get quite a bit of the detail on the owner and trainer as well as the jockey. Humans felt like a supporting cast.
That was different,
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Closer to 3.5 because there's typos and weird jumping around BUT I cried at the description of him winning the Belmont so I'll bump it up.
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
American Pharoah was free on audible for Derby Day so I picked it up. As a Louisvillian, there was so much about the book, the horse, the owners, the trainers, and the race tracks that I just loved. Lots of nostalgia! I found the side story about the misspelling of his name fascinating. And I loved finding out about his uber sweet temperament. The story did a great job of honestly portraying the good, bad, beautiful, and tragic of horse racing, which I am glad it did, since that is one of the ...more
Kate Schwarz
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, audiobooks
After listening to this book and getting a better understanding of the huge amount of luck it takes to win the Kentucky Derby--let alone the other two races that make a horse a Triple Crown winner, like American Pharoah did a few years ago, I'm pretty amazed that people still try to do. The amount of money lost on horse racing every year is staggering. In the book, Drape says there's a saying in horse racing: "The best way to become a millionaire as a horse racer (read: owner) is to start out a ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Okay, first of all, the narrator for the audio book was horrible. I know he's narrated something else I've listened to, and he was just as bad there, but it made it worse here. His personality and idiosyncrasies make it sound like he's reading for a 3-year-old; he injects so much animation and bounce into his voice that I checked the maturity ratings and reviews multiple times. The material itself wasn't condescending, but boy did it feel like it was dumbed down as read Aaron Abano.

Feisty Harriet
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horse-love
American Pharoah has the Triple Crown under his saddle, which puts him in the hyper elite among racehorses. He's no Exterminator, but wonky spelling and all, he's a legendary horse. However! Joe Drape is not a very great biographer of horses, he's no Laura Hillenbrand, that's for sure. The writing is clunky and misses the mark in many different capacities. Looking back, it occurs to me that Drape never once mentions American Pharoah racing with added weights to even the field, perhaps that is ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this free from Audible after the horse Audible was in this year's Kentucky Derby. I enjoyed this story, as it doesn't sugar the horse racing industry. Not only do you learn about this great athlete, but you also learn about the sport, dirty secrets included. The book also covered stories about the trainer, owner and jockey, which were also quite interesting. Even though I knew the outcome, I found myself enthralled and rooting for American Pharoah (the book also talks about the ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent book about the horse; way too much about the owner! Reading this made be go back and rewatch all his races even though I had watched them all when they happened (the Triple Crown anyway). I had forgotten by how many lengths he won the last two. An amazing horse. He has earned his retirement!
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed learning about all of the players that were part of American Pharoah's success in 2015. I did not want to put the book down.
Drape's knowledge of the American horse racing industry makes this an enjoyable read and I learned to love the sport of horse racing again. Thanks for this book, I will be recommending this to my fellow readers.
When American Pharoah became the 12th winner of horse racing’s Triple Crown – winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in the same year – he became a favorite of seasoned and casual racing fans alike. By becoming the first Triple Crown horse in 37 years, he was also a media darling. His story, along with that of his owner, trainer and jockey, is the story of this excellent book by sportswriter Joe Drape, who covers horse racing for the New York Times.

Like most books on a
Norma Christensen
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although, true to form, there were a lot of racing facts, I really liked the story of American Pharoah. His breeding, how he looked and the superiority with which he won the Triple Crown. I am not a horse race fan, but I believe I could get hooked on the excitement and love of a beautiful horse. I thought the author told a great story and I am just waiting for the Belmont this year to see if Justify will add his name to the list of winners. I loved the story of Black Beauty when I was a young ...more
This story about the 12th Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is not a challenge to Laura Hildebrand's Seabiscuit but if you love horses and horseracing, it is worth the read. The narrator f the audiobook was, I thought, a poor choice. In addition to details about American Pharoah and the races he ran, there is also a lot about his trainer Bob Baffert (who, by the way, really does need a haircut), his owner, and his jockey. The author also includes some history about the checkered history of ...more
Trey Grayson
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the performance of Audible in the Derby, I “won” the audiobook version of this book from

The author, Tom Drape, who covers horse racing for The NY Times does a great job bringing the colt, his owners, trainers and the other connections to life. While Baffert and Zayat are larger than life figures, befitting the sport of kings, I especially appreciated the profiles of more unsung connections like Frances Relihan, the farm manager who oversaw his first year of life.

Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is entertaining reading even if the only horse racing you watch is on the first Saturday in May. Drape does a good job of defining terms and traditions for readers who may not know much about the racing biz or horses. He starts when the colt is conceived and continues until the young stallion is retired and put out to stud. Along the way, we meet the owner, trainer, jockey and others on the team who supported American Pharoah on his amazing journey. Drape even explains the spelling of the ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Living near Saratoga Springs, NY and spending many summer days at the track, I was so happy that they brought American Pharoah to the Travers. It was such a love fest for that horse! This book was great to relive the memories of that racing season, the triple crown and the Spa living up to its Graveyard of Champions moniker. While I enjoyed the behind the scenes glimpse of the owner and the trainer and the biography of the horse, I felt that it went off the rails in spots, like when it went into ...more
Kat Kunz
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
It's a book! About a horse! I got it for free from Audible! And for a free book, it was pretty good! Probably not something I would have read if I hadn't gotten it for free! But nice to know more about the first Triple Crown winner in my lifetime! Certainly more than I needed to know about his crazy owner! Check it out, or don't! Everything is fine! Fine!
Jack Hansen
A joy encounter with greatness, I learn about the athletics, friendly temperament, and magnetic pull of the horse with a misspelled name, American Pharoah. Everyone who cares for this Triple Crown Winner falls in love with his personality and grace. Birther, trainer, rider, and owner are characters who reveal magnificence when they describe the journey of the foal, colt, pony, horse. Bob Baffert, the trainer, tells how easy his favorite horse makes winning.

Baffert is modest in giving the horse
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Oh, this was bad. It meandered all over the place, and the Author might have thought he was getting paid by the word.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable. It's a bit padded in places, but on the other hand I did learn quite a bit about the horse racing business. I got this one free though Audible, and I wouldn't want to look a gift horse book in the mouth.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was okay. The book was kind-of a hot mess and difficult to follow at times. But, I got it for free, so there is that.
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I grew up going to horse races with my grandpa and learning to study the pedigree of horses and enjoyed reading more about American Pharoah.
Selenity Jade (Coffee Addicts Book Reviews)
This was an excellent story about horse racing. The good and the bad and I loved it. I work with race horses so I very rarely read about them. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting read. I learned a lot about horse racing and why the triple crown is such an amazing feat.
Brittany's Pages
American Pharoah took the world by storm in 2015 by winning the Triple Crown, ending a 30+ year drought. This book tells American Pharoah’s story, and that of the team of people who made it possible.

In the 2018 Kentucky Derby, there was a horse named Audible. Thanks to Audible placing in the Derby, Audible made this audiobook free! How great is that?

I’ve been a horse lover for as long as I can remember. I don’t buy horse paraphernalia anymore, but I do remember reading the Thoroughbred books and
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Joe Drape is a reporter for The New York Times and the author of the New York Times Best Seller Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen. He also is the author of The Race for the Triple Crown and Black Maestro. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, he previously worked for The Dallas Morning News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When he doesn’t live in ...more