History Was Made at the Belmont
When the starting gate opened, American Pharoah was late. For one second, it really seemed as if the champion horse was not interested in chasing history.
However, it wasn't long before the 3 year-old bay colt, who was well on his to becoming the 12th
horse in history to win the Triple Crown as well as the first in almost 40 years to gain this this prestigious honor, shot to the front. He took control of his destiny in one fell swoop; just like you can do when you play slots at Royal Vegas
Despite his uncertain start, American Pharoah destroyed his competitors within a blink of an eye. This was no surprise to trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza who were already well aware of how great their horse is. In fact, before the race was halfway over, they knew they were going to win.
American Pharoah led wire-to-wire on Saturday, easily defeating the second-place Frosted by 5½ lengths. Keen Ice came in third.
Baffert said could tell that the horse was in his groove and by the eighth pole he was certain that he was going to win. On that historic day, American Pharoah become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed beat out the competition the Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes, and Kentucky Derby in 1978.
The odds-on favorites was slow
out of the gate but he was in the lead before the first pole, setting a moderate pace, with five of the other horses tailing just behind in a tight group.
The horses stayed like this until American Pharoah shot to a two-length lead. From that moment on American Pharoah kept inching ahead until his victory was assured. His time was 2:26.65, which is the 6th fastest time in Belmont history.
This is the first Triple Crown win for both Espinoza and Baffert, both who'd tried multiple times to accomplish this feat in this past.
Before this win, Baffert was starting to dislike the trophy and said that it caused him a lot of misery. He'd tried three times previously. However, no time was more upsetting than in 1998 when his horse Real Quiet went head to head against Victory Gallop.
Real Quiet managed to win both the Preakness and the Derby. However when it came to the Belmont, thing's didn’t go quite as planned. In the beginning Real Quiet led the Belmont but Victory Gallop made up the distance and beat his competition at the wire by, literally, a nose. A devastating defeat for Baggert, to be sure.
Espinoza also broke records, being the oldest jockey, at the age of 43, to win the Triple Crown. He is also the first Latino jockey to win this prestigious award.