Kentucky Derby. Preakness Stakes. Belmont Stakes.
Three individual horse races for three-year old thoroughbreds. But when you add them up they equal the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, the most difficult accomplishment to achieve in horse racing (at least in America). Few have attained the feat of winning all three competitions that are held in a five-week period. There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Not since Affirmed won in 1978.
Until this past weekend.
|American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza
at the Belmont Stakes, 2015.
American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza made history on June 6, 2015. They are only the twelfth duo to ever win the American Triple Crown. Their names will be entered in the record books alongside those of horses War Admiral, Secretariat, and Affirmed, and their jockeys Charley Kurtsinger, Ron Turcotte, and Steve Cauthen, among others.
This was Victor’s third attempt at winning the Triple Crown, making him the only jockey to attempt it three times. He’s also the oldest jockey to win, at age 43. One neat fact about Victor is that he was afraid of horses as a child. Guess he never figured back then that he’d go on to race them for a living or win the elusive Triple Crown.
|American Pharoah and team in the winner\’s
circle at Belmont Stakes.
American Pharoah’s trainer, Bob Baffert, must be relieved and very pleased to have won the Triple Crown. This was his fourth attempt at this particular accomplishment, the most of any previous trainer.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that Penny Chenery, 93, owner of Secretariat, attended this year’s Belmont Stakes. After 37 years of no Triple Crown winners, she must have been wondering if she’d see another one join the elite club she’s been a member of since her horse won in 1973. She was one of the first to congratulate this year’s winner.
I’m not generally a horse race watcher (I’m more of an NBA and NHL fan). But when history is on the line, I’d hate to miss the big event. Last year I watched California Chrome attempt to win the Triple Crown. This year, when I heard there was another horse attempting it, I had a gut feeling that he’d win. So I tuned in. And I’m so glad I did. This is the first time in my life that a horse has won the Triple Crown, and I can’t help but wonder:
Will it be the last? Or will more horses be successful in this trio of races over the coming decades?
Readers, what do you think? Will American Pharoah be the last horse to win the Triple Crown in our lifetime or will there be others?
*All photos found on Google Images.
Last week’s winner of Beth Vogt’s Can’t Buy Me Love is Sylvia. Congratulations and enjoy!
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