American Pharoah won the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes, edging out an eight-horse field in the middle of pouring rain to secure the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. If you missed the race or just want to see American Pharoah blow away the rest of the field from Pimlico Race Course again, you can watch the full video of the race.
American Pharoah got off to a tremendous start, breaking away from the No. 1 gate and into the lead, clearing the traffic almost immediately. Mr. Z broke out along with American Pharoah and the two were in the lead for the early going. Dortmund gained ground as they approached the far turn, but American Pharoah remained in the lead coming down the stretch. He only pulled away from there to blow away the field and take the race.
American Pharoah ran to victory in the midst of heavy rainfall. A rainstorm moved across Pimlico in the minutes leading up to the race, making an already sloppy track even messier. The rain was so heavy, officials were forced to evacuate the infield just minutes before post time with visibility extremely limited during the race.
Coming off an impressive finish to win the Kentucky Derby, American Pharoah was heavily favored heading into the race, going off as a 4/5 betting favorite. Like California Chrome last year, American Pharoah headed to Pimlico as a legitimate threat to win the Triple Crown.
American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund dueled at the Kentucky Derby, with the latter two leading American Pharoah until he pulled away starting in the final turn. All eyes were on the three again at Pimlico, especially in the reduced 8-horse field. Dortmund and American Pharoah were head-to-head right off the gate in the Preakness with American Pharoah starting from the No. 1 gate and Dortmund one spot over in the No. 2 gate.
The weather played a significant role in the race with rain making for an extremely sloppy Pimlico track. The heavy rain hit right about the time they called for riders up with the jockeys taking the saddle in a downpour. American Pharoah had previously run well on wet tracks, while racing in the slop was a new experience for many of the other horses in the field.
With the win, American Pharoah becomes the seventh horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since 2002. American Pharoah will attempt to do what California Chrome wasn't able to do last year and complete the Triple Crown with a win at the Belmont Stakes. In addition to California Chrome, I'll Have Another, Big Brown, Smarty Jones, Funny Cide and War Emblem have all won the first two legs of the Triple Crown since 2002. Affirmed is the last horse to complete the Triple Crown, back in 1978.
SB Nation presents: Horse racing's Triple Crown lineage