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June 7, 2015

We Have A WINNER!!!!

by Larry Leek

2015 Triple Crown Winner, American Pharoah


It took 37 years for it to happen and the wait is finally over as America has a Triple Crown winner once again.  American Pharoah led all the way to win at the Belmont Stakes by 5½ lengths Saturday, winning the third leg of the series and becoming the first horse in 37 years to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, TRULY one of the sporting world’s rarest feats.

When you look at this fine specimen, even from a distance AP stand’s out among his peers immediately commanding you attention and thru out all 3-legs of the Triple Crown, AP took it ALL in stride and was in GREAT condition prior to Saturday’s race.

One of the main reason’s accomplishing triple feat has been such a rarity dating back to 1919 is because winning all three races can be so grueling to a horse many have suffered injuries or illness along the way causing so many to come up short. But with AP, he was still the heavy favorite for Saturday’s Belmont.

American Pharoah now joins a very elite group of ONLY 12 horses to have ever won the Triple Crown and the first to do it since Affirmed won it 37 years ago. The list of 12 horses are as follows : Sir Barton(1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948),Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).

But AP’s not stopping now, trainer Bob Baffert feels he could very likely race @ Monmouth Park on Aug. 2nd or at Saratoga on Aug. 1st., the Travers also at Saratoga on the 29th OR possibly Del Mar in August.

The big question now becomes, Just how many consecutive wins will AP reel off before losing?

This is Whats On My Sports Mind about this subject….

First I want to congratulate Owner Ahmed Zayat and trainer Bob Baffert and especially American Pharoah, who was superb thru out. Baffert came close to winning the crown before, winning the first 2-legs of the Crown with Silver Charm in 1997 before losing in the Belmont.

I was only 14 when Secretariat won it in 73, breaking a 25 year drought at that time and all of a sudden five years later there were two more winners in Seattle Slew and Affirmed, the only two horses to win the Crown in back to back years, with Affirmed being the last to win it before AP broke the streak. Finally after years of trying Baffert can take a few days to soak it all in AND take a deep breath. But for now at least it appears it will be only a brief celebration.

Zayat had already sold the breeding rights to AP prior to the Belmont to  Coolmore Ashford Stud near Versailles, Kentucky. It’s nothing out of the norm. and par for the course in the ever changing world of Thoroughbred racing.

One day they are on top of the world and the next they are on top of the, well you know what I mean.

So Whats On Your Sports Mind on this subject?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   WOYSM Logo


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