ELMONT, N.Y. (June 6, 2015) – American Pharoah became the 12th Triple Crown winner in history and the first since Affirmed in 1978 by winning the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park on Saturday.
American Pharoah, the 3-5 favorite of the crowd of 90,000, was sent right to the lead by jockey Victor Espinoza. He set fractions of 24.06 seconds, 48.83, and 1:13.41 while being tracked by Materiality. He covered a mile in 1:37.99 and 1 1/14 miles in 2:02.33, then held Frosted at bay in the stretch while completing 1 1/2 miles in 2:26.65. He paid $3.50.
American Pharoah had won the Preakness Stakes by seven lengths and the Kentucky Derby by one length. In the 37 years since Affirmed's Triple Crown, 13 horses had won the Derby and Preakness but failed to complete the sweep in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes.
Last year, California Chrome was sent off as the 4-5 favorite but dead-heated for fourth.
American Pharoah's win was the second Belmont victory for trainer Bob Baffert, who also won in 2001 with Point Given. Baffert had been in position to win the Triple Crown three times before – with War Emblem (2002), Real Quiet (1998), and Silver Charm (1997) – but lost the Belmont each time.
Espinoza was winning his first Belmont. He had tried to complete the Triple Crown with California Chrome and War Emblem but was beaten each time.
American Pharoah was the third Belmont starter for the Zayat Stables of Ahmed Zayat, who finished second with Paynter in 2012 and fourth with Nehro in 2011.
Frosted finished second, Keen Ice was third, two lengths farther back. Mubtaahij was fourth.