American Pharoah came into The Belmont Stakes looking to do what 13 horses since 1978 couldn’t do: Complete the Triple Crown after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. And on Saturday, the horse accomplished just that.
The race horse joins the likes of Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and the last Triple Crown winner Affirmed.
American Pharoah had been downright dominant coming into the Belmont, according to Pat Forde.
“Only Frosted, the second betting choice at 5-1, has come within seven lengths of American Pharoah in their last meeting. (He was beaten by more than three lengths while finishing fourth in the Derby May 2.) Materiality was beaten by about 7½ lengths in the Derby, Keen Ice by 8½, Mubtaahij by nine-plus and Frammento by nearly 12. In the Preakness, Tale of Verve was a distant second to American Pharoah, seven lengths back. And the last time Madefromlucky hooked up with the Belmont favorite, in the Arkansas Derby in April, he finished nine-plus lengths in arrears.”
The Belmont Stakes is a different beast than the others, however. It is the longest of the Triple Crown legs and is where Triple Crown aspirations have come to die. It’s the reason the horse racing community has been waiting 37 years for a horse to enter into the realm of the all-time great race horses.
But on Saturday, The Belmont Stakes was no match for American Pharoah, as he became the 12th member of the Triple Crown club. And in the process giving its trainer Bob Baffert the Triple Crown he’s been after for years only to come up short in his three previous shots at the crown.