Leading all the way, American Pharoah ridden expertly by Victor Espinoza, barreled down the stretch and on to victory at the 147th Belmont Stakes Saturday, becoming the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown.
The champion 3-year-old horse seized the lead early and held off all comers in the eight-horse field, and sped away to an insurmountable lead as the crowd roared.
“I didn’t know how I was going to feel; now I know,” said trainer Bob Baffert as the crowd erupted around him after the win.
The Hall of Fame trainer gave all the credit to American Pharoah. “I feel like I have a very special horse and he’s the one that won, it wasn’t me it was the horse,” Baffert said.
America Pharoah bested the fields at both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but the 1 1/2 mile run at Belmont had knocked 13 horses off track in their bid for the Triple Crown since the feat was last accomplished by Affirmed in 1978. American Pharoah is only the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown.