I was very excited yesterday to see American Pharoah win the Triple Crown after winning the Belmont Stakes. It’s been 37 years since Affirmed was the last horse to win the Triple Crown. That meant that there had never been a Triple Crown winning horse in my lifetime as the last one happened just a few short weeks before I was born.
My parents would often hold Kentucky Derby parties to watch the first leg of the Triple Crown. Now that I live in Baltimore, home of the Preakness, I have continued their tradition in a slightly altered form by hosting an annual Preakness party. So as you can see I’ve been kind of invested in the idea of there being a Triple Crown winner. I’ve been waiting and watching every year hoping that there would be a horse that could pull it off only to be disappointed. The worst years were the ones that there wasn’t even a chance because the horse that won the Kentucky Derby didn’t win the Preakness.
This year I actually missed watching the Kentucky Derby because I was traveling at the time, but I did watch the race on a replay. Since American Pharoah didn’t run away with the race and I kept seeing all this stuff about how much he hated crowds I didn’t hold out much hope for him going into the Preakness. Then however the Preakness happened and my hopes were raised a little. He really ran away with that race, and thought maybe just maybe this is actually the horse that can do it. Of course people have said that about many other horses that have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness only to be disappointed.
One of the problems is that these days if a horse doesn’t win the Kentucky Derby often owners will rest them by having them skip the Preakness, which means at the Belmont the potential Triple Crown winner is facing a field of horses that are much better rested than he is. I was worried about that this year as always, but it didn’t seem to matter. American Pharoah went out the gate at the front and never let go of that lead and once again completely running away with it at the end. It was a very exciting race and the end of something I’ve been waiting to happen for a very long time.