American Pharoah becomes first Triple Crown winning horse in 37 years
Image copyright Bob Carr of Getty Images
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.