American Pharoah came in first place at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and became the first horse to earn the Triple Crown since 1978.

American Pharoah Wins Triple Crown

American Pharoah, a 3-year-old bay colt, came in ahead of second-place finisher Frosted by 5 1/2 lengths. Keen Ice came in third place.

According to jockey Victor Espinoza, it was clear that American Pharoah was about to win the race from the get-go Saturday. “I noticed as soon as I sat in the saddle there was so much power, so much energy,” Espinoza said. “My plan was to open up a length out of the gate and hit the turn one or two lengths (ahead) and from there I can slow him down and let him be happy. It’s so nice to be on a horse like American Pharoah. That was the best feeling I ever had in the first turn.”

Owner Ahmed Zayat and trainer Bob Baffert were similarly confident that the horse would get a victory and become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.

“There’s something about this horse, he just brought it every time,” said veteran trainer Baffert. “He’s just an enjoyment to be around. I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am because I really felt I had the horse.”

The last horse to earn the Triple Crown – placing in first at Preakness, the Kentucky Derby and Belmont – was Affirmed, who was ridden by jockey Steve Cauthen. Including American Pharoah, there have only been 12 horses to ever win the Triple Crown.

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