American Pharoah Takes Triple Crown With Belmont Stakes Win – ABC News

American Pharoah raced to first-place at the Belmont Stakes, become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in more than three decades.

He was not first out of the gate, but moved into the lead before the first turn, and was never headed. Materiality challenged, but never could get closer than three-quarters of a length, and American Pharoah pulled away down the stretch.

American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffer and owned by Zayat Stables, is the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont since 1978, becoming the 12th ever Triple Crown winner. He was also the only horse to run all three legs of the Triple Crown this year.

“I just feel like I have a very special horse,” trainer Bob Baffer said. “He’s the one that won it.”

PHOTO: American Pharoah, with Victor Espinoza up, rounds the fourth turn at the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race, June 6, 2015, in Elmont, N.Y.

Jockey Victor Espinoza, who rode American Pharoah to victory in all three races this season, said he knew at the first turn that American Pharoah would win.

“It’s just unbelievable,” he said. “I feel great.”

This was the third time Espinoza was in the running for the triple crown, but the first time he succeeded. In 2002, Epsinoza won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness riding War Emblem. In 2014, he rode California Chrome to victory at the Derby and Preakness, but again came up short at the Belmont.

PHOTO: American Pharoah #5, ridden by Victor Espinoza, comes down the final stretch ahead of the field on his way to winning the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, June 6, 2015 in Elmont, New York.

American Pharoah has been making headlines not only for his winning streak, but also for his incorrectly spelled name.

Zayat Stables picked American Pharoah’s name from a fan submission contest on its website.

Marsha Baumgartner, the fan who submitting the winning name, told ABC News she can’t remember how she submitted the spelling over a year ago.

“I remember looking up the spelling that I would spell it right,” Baumgartner, 64, said. “I guess I could’ve transposed the letters when I entered it.”

“I can’t put blame on anyone, but I think it makes him more unique.”


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