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Zayat Pumped For Pharoah Triple Crown Bid

Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

American Pharoah's owner Ahmed Zayat says his star colt will "have to earn it" if he is to become the first horse in nearly four decades to win the Triple Crown in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, reports Reuters. "In order to define greatness, you have to do things that have not been done," Zayat said. "He needs to prove that he's a cut above." American Pharoah will face some fresh challengers in the Belmont, with none of his nine expected rivals having raced in the Kentucky Derby and also the Preakness, with some skipping both races. The task confronting last year's champion 2YO male cannot be underestimated as is evidenced by the fact that 13 horses have attempted to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Each of those horses have usually run out of steam in the long Belmont straight, which has seen it referred to as the The Graveyard of Triple Crown Dreams. "My horse is going to have to earn it," said Egypt-born Zayat, before adding: "I want it for the fans. They've been waiting for 37 years. The sport needs it. A sport without a star is not a sport. Imagine having basketball without Michael Jordan or LeBron (James). I'm excited. I'm pumped." Zayat said he plans on racing American Pharoah for the rest of his 3YO season, whether or not the colt becomes the 12th Triple Crown winner of all time. "This whole Triple Crown thing is really surreal, very humbling," he said. "I'm still pinching myself that it's really happening. I am living the dream. And honestly, I don't want to wake up."

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