NEW: Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza knew early in the race American Pharoah would certainly win

Before the win, the most recent Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978

Baffert and also Epsinoza victory their first Triple Crowns




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American Pharoah sat back in the starting gate and also when the doors opened up he to be late. Because that a moment, because that one second out of 146, it didn’t look good for the steed who was chasing history.

but the 3-year-old only colt, bidding to become the 12th equine to victory the Triple Crown and also the first in 37 year to success it, burst come the front and also took regulate of the small, eight-horse field and his destiny.

The Belmont Stakes to be over before anyone watching the gyeongju knew. That is except for trainer Bob Baffert. He and jockey Victor Espinoza construed how good their equine is and, even before the Belmont was halfway done, they were details they to be going come win.

The steed with the misspelled surname led wire-to-wire Saturday, beating second-place Frosted through a comfortable margin – 5 1/2 lengths. Keen ice cream was third.

“Down the backside he was in his groove and I knew he’s a good horse and also he was going to do it,” Baffert said. “He’s just a an excellent horse. That takes a great horse to carry out (win the Triple Crown).”

The trainer later said: “I can tell through the eighth pole it was going to happen and also all ns did was just take in the crowd. It was thundering.”

American Pharoah is the very first Triple Crown winner due to the fact that Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont comb in 1978.

Owner Ahmed Zayat, when handed the Triple Crown trophy, said: “I to be so thrilled, honored, privileged, humbled, excited.”

American Pharoah was the only equine in the gyeongju who had actually run both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Yet he showed early he no have worn down legs.

The odds-on favorite began from the fifth post and also was sluggish out of the gate, yet given daylight come his inside, he remained in the lead before the first pole.

He set a center pace, with 5 of the various other seven equines just behind.

Espinoza sensed history early in the race.

“In the very first turn it to be the finest feeling I’ve ever before had,” the told reporters.

to the 90,000 pan at Belmont Park, the 1 1/2-mile race was still among a tight group of a fifty percent dozen horses. They continued to be bunched down the backstretch v American Pharoah contempt ahead.

as he come out that the far turn, that motored to a two-length lead. Finally, the crowd can sense the dryness was around to end and roared your approval. American Pharoah wears ear plugs, however the civilization in the stands were so according to he just might have heard them.

American Pharoah kept expanding the lead till crossing the complete line in 2:26.65, the sixth-fastest time in Belmont history.


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Baffert stated his horse had actually trained very well and the team had actually him prepared to win.

’Special horse’

Baffert and Espinoza each won their very first Triple Crown after multiple front attempts with other horses.

“I simply feel choose I have actually a an extremely special horse and also he’s the one the won,” Baffert, 62, said. “It wasn’t me.”

Baffert had actually been frustrated 3 times prior to but nobody was an ext upsetting that 1998 as soon as his steed Real Quiet dueled through Victory Gallop. Genuine Quiet winner the Derby and the Preakness, and he led the Belmont at the begin of the long homestretch. Success Gallop made up significant ground and also won at the cable by a nose.

“I was really getting to dislike this trophy. It’s led to me a lot of misery,” Baffert said. “I still can’t think it happened. … ns couldn’t be any kind of happier.”

third time a charm

Espinoza, 43, additionally had a record-setting day as the oldest jockey to victory the Triple Crown. He is also the very first Latino jockey to victory it.

“I came below with a lot of confidence, an ext confidence 보다 the last 2 (Triple Crown attempts),” the said. “That trophy it brought about me a many stress … yet the 3rd time was the charm.”




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Espinoza very first competed for the Triple Crown in 2002, yet War Emblem faltered and finished eighth at Belmont. California Chrome finished 4th in 2014.

till Saturday, 13 horses due to the fact that 1979 had actually won at Churchill Downs and also Pimlico yet failed come triumph at Belmont.

In 1978, Affirmed, ridden through Steve Cauthen, beat second-place Alydar in three amazing races.