American Pharoah Captures Triple Crown
American Pharoah Captures Triple Crown: Not wishing to leave anything to doubt, American Pharoah was sent to the lead by jockey Victor Espinoza and won the 12 furlong Belmont Stakes (GI). With the win, he becomes the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to capture the Triple Crown. American Pharoah keeps his winning streak alive at seven straight races, not losing since his career debut last summer at Del Mar.
American Pharoah won for trainer Bob Baffert and Zayat Stables. He is a son of Pioneerof The Nile and a Yankee Gentleman mare. This colt was a costly price at auction, selling for 300k in the fall of 2013, despite the relatively modest breeding underneath.
When the race started, the announcer pointed out that it was “not a great start for American Pharoah.” Last year, California Chrome did not start great and Espinoza seemed content to let that one get boxed in. This year, Espinoza wanted the lead and he took the lead with American Pharoah, although Materiality seemed to be the only horse keen on giving pressure in second.
After opening fractions of 24.06 and 48.83 seconds, American Pharoah looked good and remained comfortable in his leading position. Materiality began his move around the far turn and ranged up on American Pharoah’s flank, while Mubtaahij, Keen Ice and Frosted were close and seemed like threats to his Crown bid.
Turning for home, Frosted ran into some traffic problems during his bid on the inside. Materiality, perhaps not a marathon horse, began to fade. Mubtaahij tipped outside into Materiality’s former position and kept trying. Frosted found room on the rail and then took Mubtaahij’s spot once that one began to fade as they straightened out.
In the stretch run, American Pharoah’s win was clear and he opened up on Frosted. Frosted tried his best, but could only manage second. He kept a bit of distance between him and the third place finisher Keen Ice, who rallied again despite fading after the turn. Mubtaahij finished fourth. As with most editions of the Belmont, speed completely ruled this race.
American Pharoah paid $3.50 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.50 to show. Frosted paid $3.50 to place and $2.90 to show. Proving that American Pharoah was bet heavily, Keen Ice only paid $4.60 to show, despite being 17/1 in the win pool. The Triple Crown is special to many racing fans and seems to drive an emotional response out of even the most experienced followers. Hopefully, there will be more Triple Crowns for people to celebrate in the coming years.
Belmont Stakes 2015 Replay: