American Pharoah wins Preakness; one win from Triple Crown
American Pharoah won the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore on Saturday and is now one win from the Triple Crown.
Tale of Verve finished second and Divining Rod finished third.
The Kentucky Derby winner won the race in a driving rain, which forced an evacuation of the grandstands and infield at Pimlico Race Course. Several horses appeared to be catching up to American Pharoah entering the final turn, but trainer Bob Baffert's horse pulled away in the last stretch.
American Pharoah drew the rail position for the stakes, while stablemate Dortmund drew the second position.
The win marks jockey Victor Espinoza's third career Preakness victory. In 2014, Espinoza rode California Chrome to wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness before placing fourth at the Belmont Stakes.
American Pharoah's victory gives Baffert his sixth Preakness win and first since 2010 and owner Ahmed Zayat his first Preakness, after narrowly missing with Bodemeister in 2012.
On May 2, American Pharoah edged Firing Line and Dortmund to win the Kentucky Derby.
With the victory at Pimlico, American Pharoah became the 14th horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. Of the previous 13, four placed second at the Belmont and four others finished third.
The 147th running of the Belmont will take place on June 6.
- Alex Putterman