Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has a connection to Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert and called American Pharoah’s victory “quite an achievement.”
Baffert trains Midnight Hawk, owned by Quenneville and assistant Mike Kitchen, and he and the Chicago coach keep in touch regularly via text messages.
American Pharoah’s convincing victory in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday happened at the same time as pre-game warm-ups for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, but Quenneville still watched the performance and congratulated Baffert.
“I’m very happy for him, watched the race, great race, great for the sport,” Quenneville said Sunday at United Center. “Quite an achievement.”
In Elmont, N.Y., the morning after his horse won the first U.S. Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, Baffert compared American Pharoah returning to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., to parading around hockey’s greatest prize.
“He’s my Stanley Cup,” Baffert said. “I have to go take him around there and show him off to the people.”
The Blackhawks are three victories against the Tampa Bay Lightning away from Quenneville and Baffert being able to celebrate together this summer.
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Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press