American Pharoah made history on Saturday, winning the 2015 Belmont Stakes to become just the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown. American Pharoah entered the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes as the heavy favorite and was able to outrun the 8-horse field to secure a place in history.
American Pharoah started from the No. 5 gate and was able to break clean and get off to a good start, immediately jumping into the lead. Conditions for the race were near perfect and American Pharoah took advantage. The early pace was relatively moderate, allowing American Pharoah to stay in front with ease. He remained in the lead into the far turn and coming down the back stretch. That's when he made another strong charge to distance himself from the field in the stretch to complete the Triple Crown.
Several horses have claimed the first two legs of the Triple Crown in recent years, but were unable to come away with victories at Belmont. The longer 1½-mile track proved to be no obstacle for American Pharoah, who became the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown. He did benefit from the smaller field, but still earned the victory with an impressive run. Jockey Victor Espinoza can now add a Triple Crown to his resume after previously coming up just shy of the feat.
With the win, American Pharoah was able to do something 13 horses since 1978 weren't able to accomplish. Those horses won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but fell short in the Belmont Stakes. That list includes a few recent notable horses, including California Chrome, who last season was unable to make a final charge and finished fourth. Big Brown and I'll Have Another are among the other recent contenders to just miss winning the Triple Crown.