Triple Crown! American Pharoah Does It

It's the first time since 1978
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2015 5:55 PM CDT
American Pharoah with Victor Espinoza up parades to the starting gate.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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(Newser) – Sports history at Belmont Park this evening: American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown champion since 1978 and only the 12th horse overall to accomplish the feat. Jockey Victor Espinoza again rode American Pharoah to victory for trainer Bob Baffert, and the win was a relatively easy one for the favorite. He led all the way and won by more than five lengths. The bay colt with the unusually short tail defeated seven rivals in the grueling 1 1/2-mile race, covering the distance in 2:26.65 to end the longest stretch without a Triple Crown champion in history.

Thirteen horses had tried and failed to secure the honor at Belmont since Affirmed pulled off the feat more than three decades ago. Baffert and Espinoza ended their own frustrating histories in the Triple Crown. Baffert finally won on his record fourth Triple try, having lost in 1997, 1998 (by a nose), and in 2002. Espinoza got it done with his record third shot after failing to win in 2002 and last year on California Chrome. (The win means American Pharoah could become a $100 million horse thanks to stud fees. And, yes, his name is spelled wrong.)

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