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White Plains Watches As American Pharoah Runs For Triple Crown

American Pharoah, with jockey Victor Espinoza up, splashes to victory in last month's Preakness Stakes.
American Pharoah, with jockey Victor Espinoza up, splashes to victory in last month's Preakness Stakes. Photo Credit: NPR.org

A lot of eyes will be focused on Belmont Park on Long Island Saturday as American Pharoah tries to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Victor Espinoza, will try to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in the 1 1/2 mile. It will be televised on NBC and coverage begins at 4:30 p.m.

The thoroughbred is owned by Egyptian-born Ahmed Zayat. Zayat Stables has perennially been one of the nation’s leading owners since its inception in 2005. Zayat has had two prior Belmont Stakes entrants: Paynter, who finished second in 2012, and Nehro, who finished fourth in 2011. American Pharoah is the grandson of ’03 Belmont winner Empire Maker.

Odds are not in favor of American Pharoah. Since 1978, 13 horses have come into the race with a chance to win the Triple Crown and have lost the race dubbed the "Test of Champions." California Chrome won the first two legs of the Triple Crown last year but finished fourth.

American Pharoah has been impressive in winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He won the latter in a driving rainstorm with a strong stretch run. After finishing fifth in his first race, American Pharoah has won his next six. As of Friday, American Pharoah was a 3-5 favorite.

Visit the Belmont Stakes website for more information on the race.

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