After 37 Years Horse Racing Finally Has a Triple Crown Winner … American Pharoah Wins Belmont and a Place in History (VIDEO)
American Pharoah wins Triple Crown to become only the 12th horse in history to do so …
The wait is finally over, after 37 years horse racing finally has a Triple Crown winner. Yesterday, at the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, NY, American Pharoah won wire to wire, as he did in the slop at the Preakness. American Pharoah’s winning time of 2:26.6 was the second-fastest for a Triple Crown winner at the Belmont, behind only Secretariat’s 2:24 in 1973.
Jockey Victor Espinoza put American Pharoah on the lead before the horses hit the first turn, and he stayed in front the rest of the way. When the horses turned for home, instead of tiring in his third race in five weeks, American Pharoah pulled away to become thoroughbred racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner.
American Pharoah became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown when he won the 147th Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
Jockey Victor Espinoza pushed Pharoah to the front soon after the race started, and Pharoah outclassed the field, pulling away down the stretch to make history. Frosted finished second, and Keen Ice rounded out the top three.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion, American Pharoah began Saturday as a 3-to-5 favorite in the morning betting line, and those were the odds when the race began. He started from the fifth position in a field of eight.
American Pharoah becomes the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown, beginning with Sir Barton in 1919 and most recently Affirmed in 1978. After Affirmed’s Triple Crown win, 12 horses won the first two legs of the Triple, only to lose the bid at the Belmont, either because of an upset or because they did not start or complete the race.
Some of the following opinion is based on fact, but part is also based on the fact that it is tough to following horse racing after the death of Barbaro in 2007. Heck, I wasn’t sure if I would ever watch another race after Ruffian had to be put down in 1975 after the Match Race with Foolish Pleasure.
On a personal note, KUDOS to American Pharoah as winning the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and the Belmont Stakes is a great accomplishment; however, those who are making any kind of comparisons of American Pharoah to Secretariat either haven’t a clue to horse racing, the mood and culture of the times or are just trying to artificially pump up horse racing. In the 1970′s horse racing was king. And when it came to “Big Red,” the chestnut Thoroughbred was more than just a horse, he was named the #35 greatest athlete of all time. Secretariat was a celebrity who was followed and cheered for by all walks of life across society, which was remarkable seeing the the early 1970′s were so divisive.
Also, because horses today do not even come close to participating in the number of races of those horses from back in the day, American Pharoah is no Seattle Slew or Affirmed. Can one really compare times when a horse of today runs in the single digits of races while horses like War Admiral, Secretariat and Affirmed ran in the 20′s and Citation ran 45? One of the issues I had with this years Triple Crown is it seemed as if there was a lack of talent in the field. American Pharoah seemed to have little to no competition and by the time they ran the Belmont, there was no horses there to challenge. Secretariat had Sham and My Gallant as his main competition. Seattle Slew had Run Dusty Run and Sanhedrin. Affirmed and Alydar’s races were epic, actually beyond epic. In my opinion, American Pharoah is also no Citation or War Admiral.