American Pharoah won the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes and is the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown. The final time was 2:26.65, which is the 6th best Belmont Stakes finish in the race’s history.
There were doubts about if the three-year old colt could handle the grueling mile-and-a-half distance of the United States’ longest Thoroughbred race. American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza saved their best performance for last and mystified the 90,000 in attendance at Belmont Park.
Coming into this year’s Belmont Stakes, there were questions if American Pharoah was more like War Admiral, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed rather than Silver Charm in 1997, War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003, Smarty Jones in 2004, Big Brown in 2008 and California Chrome in 2014.
The answer? The first group.
Trainer Bob Baffert became the 2nd oldest trainer in horse racing history to win the Triple Crown. American Pharoah’s victory helped earn Ahmed Zayat, Justin Zayat and Zayat Stables another $800,000.
Congratulations to Victor Espinoza on winning the Triple Crown. This was the third time he entered the Belmont Stakes with the opportunity to win the honor:
Click here for Heavy’s previous coverage of the 2015 Kentucky Derby and 2015 Preakness Stakes:
For a replay of all three Triple Crown races, follow this link:
The top three choices all broke well, but it was American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza who went right to the lead and set the early pace. Frosted and Materiality broke well and sat right on the pace for the first 3/4 mile.
Then as the race started getting into its middle stages, Materiality — the speed horse of the race — fell back and gave to Mubtaahij who made a run to third, but still sat behind the pace-setter and Frosted. At the far turn, american Pharoah started pulling slightly away from the pack. As Mubtaahij fell back, it became a two-horse stretch run between Frosted — the consensus 2nd choice in the race — and American Pharoah.
The special horse then did his thing and pulled away and rode down the final stretch of the mile-and-a-half marathon to the loudest Belmont Park has roared since 1978.
Congratulations, American Pharoah! …even if they did spell your name wrong.
Order of Finish
Win: 5. American Pharoah
Place: 6. Frosted
Show: 7. Keen Ice
American Pharoah who went off as the 3/5 favorite and paid $3.50 to win. The American Pharoah, Frosted, 5-6 Exacta paid $13.60.
For a full replay of the 2015 Belmont Stakes and all of the races from the rest of the day’s card, including five other Grade 1 races worth almost $5 million besides the $1.25 million main event, visit NYRA.com.