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American Pharoah Wins Triple Crown
American Pharoah ended a 37-year drought by becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the coveted Triple Crown when winning the $1.5 million Gr1 Belmont Stakes (12 furlongs) in New York on Saturday. In front of a crowd of 90,000, the Bob Baffert-trained and Zayat Stables'-owned champion colt was simply awesome in scoring a dominant 5.5-length front-running victory over fellow colts Frosted (Tapit) and Keen Ice (Curlin) to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner. American Pharoah's winning time of 2:26.65 was a fifth of a second faster than Affirmed's Belmont time, and his winning margin was the fourth largest in Triple Crown history behind Secretariat (31 lengths), Count Fleet (25 lengths), and Citation (eight lengths). "We knew we had the horse and we were hoping we had the horse," Baffert told Blood Horse. "Once Victor got him in the clear and got him in that beautiful mode of the way he just goes over the ground. Every fraction—I saw (1:13) and change and I just loved that, then 1:37. They turned for home and I was prepared for somebody coming, because I've gone through this so many times. I was just hoping, for once—I could tell by the eighth pole that it was going to happen." He added: "All I did was just take in the crowd. The crowd was just thundering and I was enjoying the call, and the crowd, and the noise—everything happening. Thirty-seven years—that little horse, he deserves it." Owner Ahmed Zayat said he intends running American Pharoah for the rest of the 2015 season. "I personally made a promise to my family and to the fans more than anybody else," Zayat said. "We need to enjoy our stars and race them as long as we possibly (can)." American Pharoah took his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Kentucky Derby & Gr1 Preakness Stakes) from 8 starts for US$4,530,300 earnings.