Horse racing has its first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. On Saturday, June 6, American Pharoah broke the nearly four decades-long drought that has existed in the sport’s long and storied history by capturing victory at the Belmont Stakes in Belmont, NY. Until American Pharoah, a horse has not successfully captured the Triple Crown prize since 1978. The Triple Crown involves a total of three horse racing events–the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. With American Pharoah’s win on June 6 at the Belmont Stakes, the three-year-old thoroughbred succeeded where 13 other horses have tried and failed since Affirmed captured the coveted prize in 1978. Enjoy a video clip of American Pharoah’s Triple Crown win at the end of the article.
American Pharoah has broken the 37-year jinx on horse racing’s ultimate prize and entered the pantheon of the sport’s legendary champions as the 12th Triple Crown winner. He joins the other 11 Triple Crown winners, which are listed in chronological order as follows: 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).
With his win at the 2015 Belmont Stakes, American Pharoah has made history and joined the annals of horse racing’s legendary Triple Crown winners. Since Affirmed’s trifecta win in 1978, 13 other horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but none of them managed to win the Belmont Stakes, which ruined their run for the sport’s top prize.
American Pharoah took his position at the number five gate, took the lead early on, and led the field the entire way. He became victorious once again by pulling away in the stretch for the Triple Crown win. He finished the mile and a half Belmont course in 2:26.65. Frosted was placed second, five and a half lengths back from American Pharoah, and Keen Ice showed for third.
Horse racing added a new champion and the sport has another Triple Crown winner after nearly 4o years of near-misses in its history. In his quest for the Triple Crown, American Pharoah defeated 31 challengers in his trifecta sweep. This is second only to War Admiral, who outran 32 other competitors when he captured the sport’s ultimate prize in 1937.
As American Pharoah galloped into history as horse racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner and the sport’s first champion since Affirmed in 1978, the impressive thoroughbred won a trifecta on different tracks at varying distances over a five-week span. He started his quest for Triple Crown glory by winning the Kentucky Derby via a single length on May 2, followed by a seven-length victory in the mud-soaked Preakness Stakes on May 16, and then, he captured the ultimate prize in horse racing on June 6 with a victory at the Belmont Stakes.
Horse racing and Triple Crown history have a new champion in its annals. Thanks to American Pharoah, the three-year-old thoroughbred has made winners once again of Trainer Bob Baffert, 62, and Jockey Victor Espinoza, 43, who ended their own frustrating histories with the Triple Crown. Baffert finally achieved victory on his record fourth Triple Crown attempt. He lost in 1997 with Silver Charm, 1998 with Real Quiet, and in 2002 with War Emblem. Meanwhile, Espinoza achieved his Triple Crown success after his record third attempt. He failed to win in 2002 with War Emblem, and in 2014, while on California Chrome.
On June 6, horse racing named its first Triple Crown winner in nearly 40 years. American Pharoah broke the 37-year drought that has existed in the sport’s long and storied history by capturing victory at the Belmont Stakes in Belmont, NY. Until American Pharoah, a horse has not successfully captured the Triple Crown prize since 1978 and some considered the event to be cursed. The Triple Crown involves a total of three horse racing events–the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. With American Pharoah’s win on June 6 at the Belmont Stakes, the three-year-old thoroughbred succeeded where 13 other horses have tried and failed since Affirmed captured the coveted prize in 1978. As promised, watch American Pharoah’s Triple Crown win below.
By Leigh Haugh
New York Times–American Pharoah Wins Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown
FOX News–American Pharoah Wins Belmont Stakes, Ending 37-year Triple Crown Drought
USA TODAY–Triple Crown: Could This Be the Year the Drought Ends?
Fansided–Complete List of Triple Crown Winners