Tweeting about the future plans of American Pharoah, owner Ahmed Zayat couldn't have been more clear this week: "No Penn derby."
Things can change, this is horse racing, but the tweet obviously seemed to close the door on the Triple Crown winner coming to the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 19 at Parx Racing.
Zayat confirmed Tuesday that the Aug. 29 Travers at Saratoga is the preferred destination after American Pharoah had won Sunday's Haskell in electrifying fashion.
On Saturday, the New York Racing Association had announced the purse for the Travers would be raised from $1.25 million to $1.6 million if Pharoah runs in it.
"Horse always comes first," Zayat tweeted Tuesday, suggesting that there are no firm plans until trainer Bob Baffert sees how Pharoah comes out of the Haskell. The ultimate goal is the Breeders' Cup Classic, but the Travers clearly is where Zayat wants his horse next.
"I want the horse to show me he's ready for that every time," Baffert told the Daily Racing Form Tuesday, referring to how Pharoah performed in the Haskell. "There's a lot of options out there, but he's got to be thriving."