American Pharoah wins Belmont, becomes 12th Triple Crown winner
American Pharoah won the 147th Belmont Stakes on Saturday, making him the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years and the 12th in history.
Jockey Victor Espinoza rode American Pharoah to victory following wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Last year, Espinoza rode California Chrome to wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before a fourth-place finish at the Belmont Stakes.
American Pharoah was the 14th horse to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness since 1978, when Affirmed won the Triple Crown. Among the previous 13 horses, four finished second at the Belmont and four finished third.
American Pharoah, who was a 3-5 favorite as the race began, held the lead for nearly the entire race after starting in the fifth post position. The horse increased its lead in the final stretch, pulling away from the rest of the competition.
Bob Baffert, American Pharoah's trainer, won his first Triple Crown after nearly pulling off the feat in 1997, 1998 and 2002, when his horses won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before coming up short at the Belmont.
Espinoza became the first Hispanic jockey to win a Triple Crown, according to ESPN Stats & Info.