On Saturday, American Pharoah broke that 37-year jinx. He now enters the pantheon as the 12th Triple Crown winner, joining Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978).
American Pharoah went right to the lead and led the whole way, pulling away in the stretch for the victory. He finished the mile and a half in 2:26.65. Frosted was second, five and a half lengths back, and Keen Ice third.
“The way he hit the ground, you couldn’t even feel how fast he was moving,” jockey Victor Espinoza told NBC.
“I’m very emotional,” said the trainer Bob Baffert. “I’m thinking about my parents. I wish they were alive to see this.”
“New Yorkers, all racing fans, this is for you,” said owner Ahmed Zayat as he hoisted the Belmont trophy.
The field of eight on Saturday was the smallest since 2007, when the filly Rags to Riches prevailed in a seven-horse field. But American Pharoah did defeat 31 challengers in his Triple Crown sweep, second only to War Admiral, who outran 32 in 1937.
Source: The New York Times | MELISSA HOPPERT