June 4, 2015 • Updated June 9, 2015 • Text by Claire Novak
American Pharoah galloped straight into the hearts of racing fans everywhere with his hard-fought triumph in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and a follow-up romp through the slop in the May 16 Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I), but there was nothing like the roar of the crowd June 6 as he cruised to a 5½-length victory in the Belmont Stakes Presented by DraftKings (gr. I). The first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed swept the legendary series in 1978, Zayat Stables’ brilliant homebred son of Pioneerof the Nile gave Victor Espinoza hard-won success in the jockey’s third attempt at the Triple Crown, and finally brought the rare old trophy to Hall of Fame horseman Bob Baffert in the trainer’s fourth try. American Pharoah now rides a seven-race win streak, those victories garnered by a combined 35¾ lengths, and by taking the Triple Crown has claimed his place as the sport’s long-awaited superstar. This is his story.
- The Beginning
- The Races
- The Derby
- The Preakness
- The Belmont
Claire Novak, online features editor for the Blood-Horse, has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at BloodHorse.com in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on ESPN.com, among others. She is the winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary, the 2013 Joe Hirsch Memorial Award (feature/advance division), and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping with her Thoroughbred, Bob.
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