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Downs After Dark Photo Album: Triple Crown champ American Pharoah welcomed back to Churchill Downs

June 16th, 2015

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah received a hero’s welcome in his return to the Churchill Downs paddock. A crowd of about 30,000 gathered at Downs After Dark on June 13, 2015, all in hopes of catching a glimpse of horse racing’s star.

The only thing missing from the parade and paddock show? A rendition of “Enter Sandman” as he walked through the tunnel to cheers of “Phar-oah! Phar-oah!”

American Pharoah and groom Eduardo Luna.

American Pharoah and groom Eduardo Luna.

American Pharoah's owner Ahmed Zayat welcomed jockey Victor Espinoza to the paddock with a giant bear hug.

American Pharoah’s owner Ahmed Zayat welcomed jockey Victor Espinoza to the paddock with a giant bear hug.

Bob Baffert, American Pharoah's trainer, hoists the Triple Crown trophy that eluded him for so many years.

Bob Baffert, American Pharoah’s trainer, hoists the Triple Crown trophy that eluded him for so many years.

American Pharoah stops to glance at his devoted fans.

American Pharoah stops to glance at his devoted fans.

Ahmed Zayat meets Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Ahmed Zayat meets Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

American Pharoah tried his best to smile for the numerous cameras.

American Pharoah tried his best to smile for the numerous cameras.

The Triple Crown champ never turned a hair during the padock show.

The Triple Crown champ never turned a hair during the paddock show.

American Pharoah

American Pharoah

No hecklers now, Bob and Bode. "Yes, today Bob!"

No hecklers now, Bob and Bode. “Yes, today Bob!”

The crowd was waiting for the son of Pioneerof the Nile.

The crowd was waiting for the son of Pioneerof the Nile.

American Pharoah has captured the hearts of racing fans from across the country.

American Pharoah has captured the hearts of racing fans from across the country.

The coveted Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby trophies.

The coveted Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby trophies.

Bob Baffert happy to have been united with American Pharoah.

Bob Baffert happy to have been united with American Pharoah.

Ahmed Zayat enjoying the moment when presented with the Kentucky Derby trophy in the winner's circle.

Ahmed Zayat enjoying the moment when presented with the Kentucky Derby trophy in the winner’s circle.