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American Pharoah becomes first Triple Crown winning horse in 37 years

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Image copyright Bob Carr of Getty Images
Image copyright Bob Carr of Getty Images

The streak is over! Flayrah is running the first story about a non-anthropomorphic animal since September of last year.

Also, colt American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown, becoming the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and, finally today, the Belmont Stakes since Affirmed in 1978. American Pharoah is only the twelfth horse to win all three races since Sir Barton became the first in 1919.

The gap between Affirmed and American Pharoah is the longest gap between Triple Crown winners by 12 years. To put it in perspective, the last time a horse won the Triple Crown, Roger Moore was James Bond, Tom Baker was the Doctor, Space Invaders was released, Jimmy Carter was the US president, X-Man villain Mystique made her debut, The Deer Hunter would go on to win the Best Picture Oscar, though Grease was the biggest box office hit in America, while during the week that Affirmed crossed the finish line, the number one song in the nation was "You're the One That I Want" from the aforementioned movie Grease. Arguably, the furry fandom as we know it didn't exist yet.

This victory came just a year after California Chrome's loss in the Belmont Stakes; his owner Steve Coburn claimed a horse would never win the Triple Crown in his lifetime, and that it was "impossible" as long as "fresh" horses that hadn't run in the previous two races were allowed to compete in the Belmont Stakes. As if to prove Coburn wrong, American Pharoah not only won all three races, but was the only horse to run all three races, and he won his final race "wire-to-wire," horseracing jargon meaning he basically made it look easy.

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Before someone tries to correct me, American Pharoah's name is spelled that way; it was an accidental misspelling that stuck.

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Horse racing can be kind of an inhumane sport sometimes though, no? Some people drug their horses in many different ways to win the most races and make the most money. Some of the horse racing accident videos out there of broken legs and ligaments are kinda gnarly.... They just get pushed too hard and can end up dead sometimes.

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Hmm... Interesting. And just a few days ago I had read a piece on Slate on both why he almost certainly would lose and how it was unlikely another horse would manage that feat again.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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While today, The Onion has it as the topic of both a short article and the American Voices column.

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I think there is only one appropriate response to the Slate article:

"Physics? Bitch, he's a horse."

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i'm telling you, horse racing is screwed up because everyone who really wants to win drugs their horses!! but y'know. who cares about the horses right lmao.

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In fairness, that is also true for many human sports.

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The Watership Down movie was released in 1978 and the Garfield comic strip started -- surprised you didn't mention those. Also, Superman was the first modern superhero movie.

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I omitted Garfield because, as its still currently running (with the same artist/writer, even), it would be a better example of how old Garfield is rather than how long it has been since a horse won. Watership Down, though, I should have noted that (I was using Wikipedia's various "history by year articles," which didn't include them for some reason). Superman does seem like something I would point out, but I will freely admit I'm a Marvel partisan, and I already had two movie examples (I also considered noting Star Wars being just a single movie, not even a trilogy, much less a multi-billion dollar multi-media franchise/small industry as well).

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About the author

crossaffliction (Brendan Kachel)read storiescontact (login required)

a reporter and Red Fox from Hooker, Oklahoma, interested in movies, horror, stand up comedy

Formerly Wichita's only furry comic.