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Ahmed Zayat planned American Pharaoh’s Triple Crown journey

Ahmed Zayat and American PharaohIF you think the connections of American Pharoah just stumbled upon their champion thoroughbred, then you would be wrong.

Ahmed Zayat is the owner of the potential Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and he openly admits to spending large amounts of money on buying and betting on race horses, and brags about how successful he’s been in the racing industry.

Zayat is involved in almost every sector of business, whether it’s in beer, buildings or breeding, he has his finger in the pie.

His attitude of going all in sits well with our poker-playing friends, but how has that attitude transcended in the thoroughbred industry? This Sunday, we’ll find out when American Pharoah ($1.80 at BetOnline.ag) steps out at Belmont Park in its attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

“I’m a driven guy, a competitive guy,” said the Egyptian born Zayat who now lives in New Jersey.

“I work hard and have been very successful, and we’ve made a lot of money over the years.”

Despite his extreme wealth, Zayat would still see winning the Triple Crown as a fairytale story, much aligned to the lesser known owners of last year’s Triple Crown aspirant California Chrome.

“This would be a Cinderella story,” he said.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, as it never is in business, as Zayat Stables filed for bankruptcy in 2010 when his bank said there were USD $34 million in arrears in unpaid loans.

In the findings, he disclosed he had made loans to two brothers who later pleaded guilty to operating an illegal gambling operation. The stable was able to escape serious financial trouble, but Zayat hasn’t been able to escape the headlines.

Earlier this year, Zayat was sued by a man who claimed Zayat hadn’t paid money for credit bets at an offshore casino in 2003 — it was later found the plaintiff was involved in shady behaviour himself and the lawsuit could not be trusted.

“It’s sad, really sad,” Zayat said.

“To me, this is the moment we should be enjoying as a family and frankly speaking, it’s not about me. It’s about the horse.”

American Pharoah’s trainer Bob Baffert says this media coverage comes with the territory of having a potential Triple Crown winner in the stables.

“You have to expect there’s always somebody out there that has to bring some kind of negative scandal and it’s not a secret that Mr. Zayat likes to bet,” Baffert said.

“So when you’re gambling, there’s always somebody out there.

“He’s so very passionate, but he’s a very hyper, emotional man.

“And he’s very easy to set off, but he’s fun to be around.”

Only days after winning the 2015 Preakness Stakes, Zayat sold the breeding rights to the American ranch of Coolmore Stud, for what could end up being around the $30 million mark.

“At the end of the day he’s a businessman,” said Baffert. “And he’s done really pretty amazing with these horses he’s bred and the stallion deals.

“He has to sell these horses, he has to churn the money. You have to sell in order to stay with it.”

Until American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby, Zayat had been considered unlucky by his peers. His horses finished second in the Derby three times (Pioneer Of The Nile, Nehro and Bodemeister), but it appears his luck has changed with America’s new hero set to make his mark in history.

Best odds for American Pharaoh by country

USA: $1.90 with Bovada
Australia: $1.80 with Crownbet
United Kingdom: 7/10 at Bet 365

This article was written by Jess

Jess is the editor of MobileSportsBetting.com. His job duties include everything nobody else is doing, and making sure it all gets done on time. When he gets a chance, Jess loves to write about NFL, MLB, Formula 1, and tennis betting.

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