American Pharoah becomes first winner of Triple Crown since 1978 with victory in Belmont Stakes.
ELMONT, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (JUNE 6, 2015)(NBC UNIVERSAL)- American Pharoah entered the pantheon of U.S. thoroughbred racing’s all-time greats by winning the Belmont Stakes on Saturday (June 6) to become the first horse to capture the coveted Triple Crown in nearly four decades.
In winning his seventh straight race, American Pharoah became the 12th horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, and the first since Affirmed in 1978.
Wood Memorial winner Frosted finished second, 5-1/2 lengths behind wire-to-wire winner American Pharoah, while Keen Ice grabbed the show spot.
As he crossed the finish line, jockey Victor Espinoza pumped his fist and the sold-out crowd of 90,000 at Belmont Park cheered wildly.
The victory secured American Pharoah trainer Bob Baffert’s first Triple Crown after the Hall of Famer was denied three previous times at the Belmont Stakes, with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998 and War Emblem in 2002.
American Pharoah, the muscular son of 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneer of the Nile, now has seven victories in eight career starts. He paid $3.50, $2.80 and $2.50 for a $2 ticket.
The winning time of 2:26.65 for a mile-and-a-half over a fast track was well off the record of 2:24 set in 1973 by Triple Crown winner Secretariat.