Categories: Horse Racing

American Pharoah First Triple Crown Winner Since 1978

Horse racing finally has it’s champion. American Pharoah did not disappoint at the 2015 Belmont Stakes, as he cruised to a complete sweep of the 2015 Triple Crown.

American Pharoah was the favorite in all three stages of the Triple Crown, growing increasingly more likely to end the staggering 37-year drought with each impressive performance. While there was some stiff competition at the Kentucky Derby and some rough sledding in the mud at the Preakness Stakes, it oddly seemed the entire time like it was simply destiny for American Pharoah to pull off the unthinkable.

Many felt that the drought could end in 2014, when California Chrome entered the Belmont Stakes in similar fashion and looking like a safe bet to finally end the dry spell. That didn’t go as planned, unfortunately, but American Pharoah finished the deal just one year later.

The Triple Crown has grown into an oddity of sorts, as it’s already horse racing’s Super Bowl, but extra allure was always added to the race due to the ridiculous stretch where it couldn’t find a true champion. In fact, before American Pharoah shocked the world, there had been only 11 Triple Crown winning horses.

The beauty in this race may have been that it looked like it was American Pharoah all the way, almost from the start. The crowd grew louder as American Pharoah got closer to history. Jockey Victor Espinoza felt the pressure more than American Pharoah or her trainer, as this would have been his third failure after getting within one race of nabbing the Triple Crown.

Espinoza closed out the race with American Pharoah in impressive fashion, though, and an ugly stretch was swiped from the horse racing record books.

The drought in the Triple Crown has been flushed out with a new winner, but horse racing fans won’t soon forget how magical of a run American Pharoah has endured. On top of that, horse racing enthusiasts can now appreciate more than ever the several horses that came so close to ending the drought themselves, and embrace the likelihood that we could very well be in for another 30+ year drought. Well, let’s hope not.

Kevin Roberts

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