In June of 1978, the average price of gas was around 65 cents per gallon, L.A. still had a football team, ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ sat atop the box office movie list, and Affirmed won the Triple Crown in horse racing.
Since then, 13 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes only to come up short or not even race in the Belmont Stakes, the Triple Crown’s third and final leg. California Chrome looked strong in 2014 after winning the first two legs, but finished fourth at Belmont after suffering an injury at the start of the race. In 2012, I’ll Have Another was scratched the day before Belmont due to injury.
American Pharoah is the latest horse to have a shot at racing immortality after wins at Churchill Downs and Pimlico this year. If he can outlast all of his opponents during the grueling 1.5 mile stretch at Belmont Park, he’ll become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 and the twelfth in horse racing history.
Do you think American Pharoah has what it takes to win the Triple Crown? How significant would it be to see a Triple Crown winner for the first time in 37 years?
Steve Andersen, Southern California Correspondent for Daily Racing Form
Mike Willman, Director of Publicity at Santa Anita Racetrack