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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    rebbu's Avatar
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    Beautiful fire breathing money machines every where I look

    American Pharoah Wins Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown

    American Pharoah was ridden by Victor Espinoza, owned by Zayat Stables and trained by the Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

    American Pharoah, the flashy colt with the smooth stride, won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in a generation and etching himself in the history books.

    Since 1978, when Affirmed swept the three races, 13 horses had won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. But none of them won the Belmont.

    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 broke from the No. 5 gate, 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.

    American Pharoah paid $3.50 for a $2 bet as the favorite.

    “The way he hit the ground, you couldn’t even feel how fast he was moving,” jockey Victor Espinoza told NBC.

    American Pharoah's owners Ahmet and Joanne Zayat after winning the Triple Crown. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

    “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.

    Baffert, 62, secured his second Belmont victory; when he won in 2001 with Point Given, Bill and Hillary Clinton joined him in the winner’s circle. (Bill Clinton was on hand again Saturday.) American Pharoah was able to give him what his three previous Derby and Preakness winners — Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002) — could not.

    “I just know, we’re up against it, but we’re hoping it happens, but I really don’t try to think, because the letdown, I know what it’s like,” Baffert said last week. “Those other races, we were right there, it was so close, they ran their races, they just got beat. It all ends, the phone quits ringing, it all ends. It’s like life ends. So we’re just going to enjoy it and keep the horse happy and healthy. That’s all we can do.”

    Espinoza, 43, secured his first Belmont victory, having come up short with the Derby and Preakness winners War Emblem and California Chrome.

    American Pharoah and the jockey Victor Espinoza in the winners circle after capturing the Triple Crown. Credit Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

    The race announcer Larry Collmus finished his call on Saturday with: “And here it is, the 37-year wait is over. American Pharoah is finally the one. American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!”

    American Pharoah was among the most-buzzed-about horses on the Triple Crown trail after securing the title of top 2-year-old male last year. Under blue skies and before a record crowd of 170,513 at the Kentucky Derby on May 2, he charged past Firing Line and stablemate Dortmund to begin his quest. He completed the mile and a quarter in a pedestrian 2:03.02.

    As a record Preakness crowd of 131,680 braved a torrential downpour just as the starting gate was being loaded on May 16, American Pharoah stayed focused on the task at hand. He skipped over the sloppy racetrack and left everyone in his wake, winning by seven lengths. He completed the mile and three-sixteenths in a slow 1:58.46.

    The New York Racing Association instituted a 90,000 cap on attendance for the 147th running of the Belmont after long lines, an inadequate supply of food and drinks, and transportation blunders left many of last year’s 102,199 visitors unhappy.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    Sumocakewalk's Avatar
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    Great to hear that American Pharoah won the triple. A long time coming.

    Congratulations to Bob Baffert, his crew and owners.

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