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American Pharoah Wins Belmont To End 37-Year Triple Crown Drought

American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza after winning the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.
American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza after winning the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown. Photo Credit: NBC-TV screengrab

ELMONT, N.Y. -- American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years by winning the 147th Belmont Stakes on Saturday on Long Island.

Affirmed, in 1978, was the last horse to win the Triple Crown, capped by the 1 1/2-mile Belmont. There have now been 12 Triple Crown winners.

Frosted finished second. Keen Ice took third.

The thoroughbred, who won the Belmont wire-to-wire, is trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Victor Espinoza. He is owned by Egyptian-born Ahmed Zayat. Zayat Stables has perennially been one of the nation’s leading owners since its inception in 2005.

Zayat has had two prior Belmont Stakes entrants: Paynter, who finished second in 2012, and Nehro, who finished fourth in 2011. American Pharoah is the grandson of ’03 Belmont winner Empire Maker.

Though a 3-5 favorite, history was not in favor of American Pharoah. Since 1978, 13 horses have come into the race with a chance to win the Triple Crown and have lost the race dubbed the "Test of Champions." California Chrome won the first two legs of the Triple Crown last year but finished fourth.

American Pharoah was also impressive in winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He won the latter in a driving rainstorm with a strong stretch run.

After finishing fifth in his first race, American Pharoah has won his next seven.

Espinoza, 43, became the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

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