Jun 6, 2015 6:57 PM by News Staff
American Pharoah has done it.
The three-year-old bay colt with the faint star on its forehead ran the mile-and-a-half race of its life, earning what most call the holy grail of horse racing, the Triple Crown.
Jockey Victor Espinoza pushed Pharoah to the front soon after the race started, and Pharoah outraced the field, pulling away down the stretch to make history. Frosted finished second, and Keen Ice rounded out the top three.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion, American Pharoah began Saturday as a 3-to-5 favorite in the morning betting line, and those were the odds when the race began. He started from the fifth position in a field of eight.
American Pharoah becomes the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown, beginning with Sir Barton in 1919 and most recently Affirmed in 1978. After Affirmed's Triple Crown win, 12 horses won the first two legs of the Triple, only to lose the bid at the Belmont, the most recent being California Chrome just last year.
Espinoza rode American Pharoah during this year's Triple Crown races. It was the second straight year that Espinoza went to Belmont with a chance at the mark. He was the jockey of California Chrome a year ago. Espinoza also rode War Emblem to the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2002 before finishing eighth at Belmont.
For American Pharoah trainer Bob Baffert, Saturday marked his fourth shot at the Triple Crown. He also trained Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem, teaming with Espinoza for that attempt.