HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - American Pharoah, last year's 2-year-old champion, made his return to the track appear easy Saturday, winning Oaklawn Park's Rebel Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths despite a loose shoe on a sloppy track.
The victory gave trainer Bob Baffert his fifth Rebel victory in six years and moved the Zayat Stables colt to fifth in the Kentucky Derby point standings. Zayat's El Kabeir tops the standings.
American Pharoah bobbled to the left out of the gate - perhaps as the shoe came loose - but recovered and took the lead immediately. The 3-year-old was making his 2015 debut after missing last year's Breeders' Cup, perhaps with a foot bruise. His last race was the Front Runner at Santa Anita in September.
Made From Lucky ran second and moved to 10th in the Kentucky Derby standings, Bold Conquest moved to 13th after finishing third and The Truth or Else moved to 19th after running fourth. The Kentucky Derby will take the top 20 horses for the May 2 race.