Tuesday, June 9, 2015

American Pharoa: Finally a Triple Crown Winner

American Pharoa at 2015 Preakness Stakes
(Commons Wikimedia)
Finally it happened: American racehorse fans have been waiting for thirty-seven years for a new Triple Crown Winner, and last Saturday it finally happened. 

American Pharoa won the Belmont Stakes in New York, the third race of a three race series, the Triple Crown, a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

According to Wikipedia, the first winner of all three Triple Crown races was Sir Barton in 1919.  Till 2015, only eleven illustrious horses had won the Triple Crown, including Sir Barton: Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), and Affirmed (1978.)

In recent years many top racehorses were close by winning 2 of the 3 major races, but failed to win the third, such as California Chrome (2014), Big Brown (2008), Afleet Alex (2005),  Smarty Jones (2004),  Funny Cide (2003), War Emblem (2001) and Point Given (2000.)

But this year the American racing sport and its many fans got a shot in the arm, when American Pharoa,
trained by Bob Baffert, ridden by Mexican jockey Victor Espinoza and owned by Egyptian born businessman Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, achieved the American dream by winning this trophy in front of a roaring enthusiastic crowd of 90,000 New Yorkers.

Watch the three great races won by this horse and his rider:

In honor of American Pharoa, Cosimo Classics - of which this blogger is the publisher - has republished The Life of a Racehorse, an 1890 fictional biography by John Mills,  detailing the life of a British racehorse from the horse's point of view. This book was highlighted in a recent New York Times article bringing attention to the use of the riding crop; it was cited as one of the only references to how horses might feel about its use.

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