Racing's Most Exclusive Club
The history of the Triple Crown, which is central to American racing, is written in a century of defining moments in the Belmont Stakes, including Secretariat's world record, Seattle Slew's undefeated sweep of the series, and Affirmed's survival of his rival's last onslaught. Only 12 horses have won this most rare of American sporting titles, while some 34 have been eligible to try. At Belmont Park, almost every champion of the last century has carved his or her name into the venerable stone of racing legend.
On an idyllic Saturday evening at Belmont Park, American Pharoah made it worth the 37-year wait. Under a perfectly calculated ride by Victor Espinoza, the son of Pioneerof the Nile led the field from start to finish in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, drawing away in the stretch to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 and end a drought that had seen the hopes of 13 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winners end in disappointment. The milestone victory in the 147th 'Test of the Champion' was sweet redemption for the colt's connections, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and Espinoza, as the pair had accumulated five failed Triple Crown bids between them.
Belmont Park’s Secretariat Pole, which is 31 ½ lengths inside the finish line, commemorates the margin of victory and is painted in the colors of his stable—blue and white. The pole was put up in 2013, the 40th anniversary of Sec’s Triple Crown at the suggestion of Tom Durkin.
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