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American Pharoah’s quests for immortality

By: John Galletley

American Pharoah

Triple Crown — one of the most illustrious awards in sports goes to horses that have the ability to win the three biggest races of the year: The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah is the latest horse to go after this achievement and if he wins the Belmont Stakes, it will be one of the biggest sports moments in recent memory.

It has been 37-years since a horse has won the Triple Crown when Affirmed did so in most dramatic fashion by beating out Alydar by just a head. It was one of the most exciting races in the history of the sport and to top it off, it’s our last memory of a Triple Crown being won.

There are 11 horses in that exclusive club of Triple Crown winners in 140 years that all three races have existed. Since 1978, there have been 13 more horses that came close to joining that club by winning the first two races but failed at the hardest of them all: the Belmont Stakes. The closest attempt in recent memory was Smarty Jones in 2004 who had the lead going into the final stretch but got passed by Birdstone in the last 1/16 of the race. Some say he is the greatest horse in the last 20 years but yet, he is not a Triple Crown winner.

The Triple Crown has become increasingly more difficult to win in this day and age. It was already tough to win the three biggest races of the year but by the time these horses get to the Belmont, they are facing other horses with fresh legs. The average horse races about every five weeks. Triple Crown contenders have to compete in three races during a six week span.

In American Pharoah’s case, he is the only horse in this year’s field who is going to compete in all three of these races. There are seven other horses in the field. One didn’t race in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes, five of them only raced in the Kentucky Derby, and one only raced in the Preakness. This is nothing new however, since California Chrome was in the same situation last year with a bigger field.

After last year’s loss at the Belmont, California Chrome’s owner speak out about how unfair the system was to stack fresh horses against him. This created a lot of uproar and a lot of fan support backing that owner. Those fans don’t recognize the beauty of the Triple Crown.

The beauty of the Triple Crown is that a horse can win all three of these big races despite not being on even playing field with everyone else. A Triple Crown horse needs to have 100-percent even when they have done more than their competition. They also show that they are better than a normal horse in any condition. The level of superiority has to be higher in this sport than in others.

If American Pharoah can complete his quest for the Triple Crown, he will not just be the first horse to win in 37-years, he will prove he is a true stallion and will go down as one of the greatest horses of all-time. There will be no denying it since the Triple Crown makes you truly earn everything you achieve, all of the recognition that goes along with it, and passing the test of true greatness.

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Want to talk sports? John Galletley is the man to go to. He has been following sports of all kinds since he was a child but had a first love for baseball being in a family of Yankees fans. He also loves to travel and has used sports in order to do this including taking several road trips to MLB stadiums and other sports venues. John has always dreamed of working in the sports world and wants to make his way there as a writer in order to follow the philosophy of never working a day in your life if you love what you do.

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