When A Picture Says It All
Victor Espinoza visited American Pharoah after the Belmont Stakes. I think the picture speaks for itself. This was posted on his Facebook page.
|I love this picture.|
I have been privileged to see four Triple Crown horses on TV: Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and now American Pharoah. Every one of them was amazing.
I am not a big racing fan, but these three races always capture me. I did not watch the Belmont live and tuned in just as the race was called at the end. The last 12 disappointments made me both superstitious and too emotional so I just don't watch any more. (Well, now that we have a Triple Crown Champion again, I may watch.)
My fear is always that a horse will be hurt and indeed, at Belmont earlier in the day a horse was put down due to a broken leg. Such tragedies are far too common in racing where the stresses on horses' legs is incredible. Until you have stood at the rail at a track and watched horses break from the gate, or run for the wire, you cannot even begin to appreciate how hard they run.
One of my friends noted that American Pharoah had no bandages. He does have a special shoe on his left front, but other than that no extra protective gear. If his legs are clean that is a sign to me he's a superior athlete, built for his job. Certainly watching his gallop in slow motion shoes tremendous talent.
He did not break Secretariat's records in any of the three races, but he certainly dominated the other horses of his generation. A look at his pedigree shows some famous sires in his bloodline, including Secretariat, Northern Dancer, and Bold Ruler. Pedigree American Pharoah
Both my Thoroughbreds have some of the same ancestors, Bold Ruler in particular. Neither of them ever raced, so no Triple Crowns.
I still give them kisses anyhow.