RECORD-SETTING TRIPLE CROWN DROUGHT IS FINALLY OVER
|| By FITSNEWS || American Pharoah did it …
After thirteen failed attempts over the last thirty-seven years, the horse with the awe-inspiring name gave an awe-inspiring performance at the Belmont Stakes – breaking the longest drought in Triple Crown history.
Jockey Victor Espinoza knew his horse had it, too … telling NBC Sports after the race that he knew American Pharoah would win the race “after the first turn.”
“What an amazing horse,” he said.
After a 25-year drought from 1948 to 1973, three Triple Crowns were captured in the 1970s – the first by Secretariat, generally regarded as the greatest horse in history. In 1977 Seattle Slew won it, and in 1978 Affirmed claimed the crown – which consists of winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in the same year.
But then came a record-setting string of futility …
Of the thirteen horses to try (and fail) to capture the Triple Crown over that period, Real Quiet came the closest in 1998 – losing the Belmont by a nose.
Pharoah made sure this year’s race wasn’t a nail-biter. Despite a slower-than-usual start, the three-year-old – trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Egyptian entrepreneur Ahmed Zayat – led the race from wire-to-wire, pulling ahead down the homestretch as 90,000 fans roared their approval.
“He’s just a great horse,” Baffert said. “It takes a great horse to do it.”
For those of you keeping score at home, Pharoah’s time in the Belmont was 2:26.65.
That’s two-and-a-half seconds off Secretariat’s 1973 record-setting time in the mile-and-a-half (twelve furlongs) race.