American Pharoah* becomes first Triple Crown winner in 37 years
Joe Drape, writing for the New York Times, makes the victory as well as the build-up to it, sound poetic. His word pictures are painted in the style of Degas. Even the stench of sweat —- a mixture of jockey’s and horse’s —- manages to be aromatic. Listen closely and you can hear the roar of the crowd of 90,000.
Jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert, and owner Ahmed Zayat had plenty to celebrate Saturday as 3-year-old colt American Pharoah won the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes. With the 5 ½ length triumph, Pharoah becomes the first horse to capture the Triple Crown since 1978 —- sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
American Pharoah joins the exclusive club of Triple Crown winners: 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) and Affirmed (1978).
Drape’s skillful depictions of the events are likely to turn many indifferent to racing into aficionados.
Want to get your racing feet wet? Phoenix is home to Turf Paradise, the appropriately named race track which boasts the first class Turf Club with an outstanding menu. The live racing season, including special events, runs October through May. Gates open at 11 a.m. Check out the map and directions.
*Yes, the name is misspelled.