No horse has achieved Triple Crown victory in over 35 years – can American Pharoah overcome the odds and win the coveted title?
On Saturday at Belmont Park, New York, American Pharoah seeks to become the first racehorse in over 35 years to win the coveted Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing – one of the hardest achievements in all of sports.
The Triple Crown requires 1st-place finishes in three of the longest and most historic race tracks in the United States over the span of a mere five weeks: The Kentucky Derby (10 furlongs), the Preakness Stakes (9 furlongs) and the Belmont Stakes (12 furlongs).
Since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, thirteen horses have tried and failed to win the Belmont after winning the first two jewels. California Chrome finished 4th to Tonalist in 2014 and I’ll Have Another couldn’t start the race due to an injury.
But now American Pharoah – a horse who has never lost a race and has the genes almost to a T for a horse capable of winning the extra long Belmont Stakes – has a chance to make history… if he can get past seven well-bred, well-trained horses with champion jockeys and legendary breeders first.
Here is a look at the eight horses competing in the 147th Belmont Stakes (listed by Post number):
Post 1 – Mubtaahij
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Trainer: Mike de Kock
Owner: Essafinaat Limited
Certainly one of the underdogs in the race, Mubtaahij hasn’t won a significant race since the UAE Derby in Dubai back in March. As for his appearances in the Triple Crown races, Mubtaahij finished 8th at the Kentucky Derby and didn’t participate at the Preakness in order to save energy for the Belmont.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr replaces Mubtaahij’s Derby jockey Christophe Soumillon, who had previous arrangements and won’t be available on June 6.
Predicted Finish: 6th