2015-06-10 / Front Page

American Pharoah Wins Triple Crown

By Joyce Vetere Milowski And Dan Miller

American Pharoah hits finish line to win the Belmont Stakes and capture the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

Photo Dan MillerAmerican Pharoah hits finish line to win the Belmont Stakes and capture the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Photo Dan MillerThe air was full of excitement and charged as 90,000 people in cars, buses and trains pulled into the entrance area of beautiful Belmont Park at Elmont. It was June 6, the day that so many had looked forward to for 37 years.

The Grade 1, Belmont Stakes was the third and final leg of what is known as the “Triple Crown.” And although many horses have attempted this feat only 11 others have actually been able to succeed. The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes comprise the Triple Crown Races.

Last year’s dreams of a successful “Triple Crown” win were dashed when California Chrome, the winner at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness lost at Belmont to Tonalist.

This year proved to be different, as the magnificent three year old thoroughbred, “American Pharoah” owned by Egyptian American Ahmed Zayat beat the odds and won the third leg of the Triple Crown at Belmont, the longest of the three tracks at 1 ½ miles.

“American Pharoah” proved to be a thoroughbred different, than many others right from the start. Although many have questioned the “misspelling” of his name “Pharoah,” Zayat says that a fan submitted the name in an online contest. The misspelling was then put onto the electronic form where owners register their horses. “The Courier-Journal” of Louisville reported that the name is now the trademarked official spelling.

Bob Baffert, The Hall of Fame trainer of American Pharoah said at the news conference following the race that “He’s the sweetest horse of this caliber I’ve ever been around.” He went on to say, ”This horse is something special. He’s fast, he gets out of trouble, and he sits.”

There seems to be just one quirk that “American Pharoah” has and that is he occasionally is startled by noise. To remedy this he wears earplugs and is always very cooperative.

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that this horse faced was the fact that he had just finished five races in 12 weeks. Earlier in the training year he had an accelerated training schedule to get him ready for the Kentucky Derby. His jockey Victor Espinoza, who had won six out of six races riding him said, …”He’s very kind. He doesn’t get rank or anything.”

Zayat and Espinoza announced they would continue their charitable ways by donating their winnings to very worthy causes. Zayat announced he would donate $50,000 from his winnings to a few charitable organizations including the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund while 2015 Triple Crown winning jockey Victor Espinoza will donate his entire Belmont Stakes winnings to City Hope Foundation supporting their work to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

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