Sunday, June 07, 2015

Triple Crown at Last

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.


  1. I too saw all four Triple Crown winners on TV, or in the case of Affirmed, live - the 1978 Belmont is the only Triple Crown race I've ever been to, and it was a great one.

    I used to watch all the horse races, but stopped after I saw too many horses die - Ruffian and Go For Wand were my last straws. I will occasionally watch a race after the fact.

    I love the beauty and heart of the TB, but hate the racing industry and use of the animals for power and money.

    American Pharaoh (autocorrect won't let me spell his name the way it's spelled) has classic breeding, not so much the speed at any costs breeding that is so common nowadays. My Dawn also has classic breeding - her sire, a full brother to Capote, raced over 30 times and lived into his 30s. Dawn has lots of Northern Dancer and also Native Dancer.

  2. It was beautiful to see this horse continue after his win, ears forward and seemingly relaxed. He didn't miss Secretariat's record speed by much.

  3. Love that picture too. He's a beautiful talented horse. Like you I'd almost given up on the Triple Crown. I remember watching some of the others win but in 37 years it was very disappointing there wasn't another winner until now.

  4. I love your last line!

  5. I cried like an idiot when he won! It was the first Triple Crown win I've been alive for, and I still get teary thinking about it over a week later!

    Jack is related to American Pharoah through Mr. Prospector and Terlingua, whose sire was Secretariat. But, I have the great privilege of knowing a sister to American Pharoah! She wasn't a very good racehorse, but her value as a broodmare has sky-rocketed now. She lives right down the street from me and I see her every day, it doesn't seem that her brother's fame has gone to her head. She's a very pleasant little mare.