American Pharoah has became the 12th horse in history to win the Triple Crown, and the first one since 1978 when Affirmed achieved the glory.
Mexican Jockey Victor Espinoza and trainer Bob Baffert were confident about their mercurial horse bidding for the Triple crown at Belmont Stakes on Saturday in front of 90,000 spectators.
“Down the backside he was in his groove and I knew he’s a great horse and he was going to do it,” Baffert said. “He’s just a great horse. It takes a great horse to do (win the Triple Crown).”
Egyptian owner Ahmed Zayat was overwhelmed by the achievement of his horse while receiving the trophy.
“I am so thrilled, honored, privileged, humbled, excited,” Zayat revealed.
The three-year-old bay colt and odds-on favorite started from the fifth post at Belmont Park. He was the only horse among the eight to have raced both at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and won both convincingly.
Yet American Pharoah displayed no tiredness, started at a moderate speed ahead of five horses. Mexican Espinoza smelt victory early in the race.
“In the first turn it was the best feeling I’ve ever had,” he told reporters.
American Pharoah kept on extending the lead in the 1 1/2 mile race and crossed the finish line in 2:26.65. This is sixth fastest in Belmont history. He defeated second-place Frosted by a comfortable margin of 5 1/2 lengths. Keen Ice finished third.
As it came out of the far turn, the crowd cheered the graceful American Pharoah as he rekindled the memoirs of great race-horses of the past like Affirmed, Seattle Slew or Secretariat.
“The crowd was just thundering,” Baffert said. “I was enjoying the crowd and the noise and everything happening.”