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East County News Service

Photo: American Pharoah at Preakness, Creative Commons image from Maryland Gov Pics

June 9, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - The winner of horse racing’s Triple Crown won his first race at Del Mar, right here in San Diego County--and may soon be coming back.  Track officials at Del Mar have told the Union-Tribune that they may increase the prize money for the upcoming Pacific Classic in hopes of enticing the owners of American Pharoah to compete.

American Pharoah last weekend made history by becoming the first Triple Crown winner coronated in 37 year--only  the 12th horse to achieve the highest honor in the sport.  Jockey Victor Espinoza rode American Pharoah to achieve victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes--and announced he will donate 100% of his winnings from the Triple Crown to a charity battling childhood cancer.  

Affirmed was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 1978.  According to the New York Times, there have been five presidents, three wars, and three recessions since the last time a Triple Crown was awarded. Twelve horses have had the opportunity to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed took the prize, winning the first two races in the series, however all of them came up one victory short, failing to win the Belmont Stakes.

American Pharaoh had a much easier run than his predecessors, maintaining the lead for most of the race to clock a winning time of 2 minutes, 26.65 seconds.  The other horses never came closer than a few lengths behind.

Whether we will see another Triple Crown winner in the near future is a mystery, but after 37 years, American Pharaoh certainly made it a very special day for sports fans.

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