The 2015 Belmont Stakes
The final leg of the American Triple Crown for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, the Belmont Stakes was offered for the 147th time in 2015 and the event turned into a celebration after American Pharoah became the first horse in 37 years to sweep the Triple Crown.
The 1 1/2-mile race represents an extreme test of stamina and is known as the “Test of the Champion” due to its high degree of difficulty, but American Pharoah found no trouble when wiring the contest by 5 1/2 lengths under jockey Victor Espinoza. The rider piloted California Chrome in a Triple Crown bid just one year prior, but that gleaming chestnut came up short in the Belmont Stakes.
Twelve months later saw a different story entirely, as American Pharoah glided home the easiest of winners while stopping the clock in 2:26.65 over the fast main track. In doing so, the Bob Baffert-trained son of Pioneerof the Nile became the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 1978.
American Pharoah would go on to complete the first Grand Slam of Racing when finishing out his career for owner/breeder Ahmed Zayat in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on October 31 at Keeneland.