Pharoah Gallops On
by Julia Lebovitz on Friday, May 22nd, 2015
On May 2nd 2015, horses battled in one of the closest and most exciting races in
history. The Kentucky Derby, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, is the most
prestigious and popular horse race in the world. The winner receives a 1.425 million dollar prize out of a total purse of $2.0 million as well as the opportunity to compete for the Triple Crown: winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. American Pharaoh, upholding his five-race winning streak, was the winner of this year’s Derby. Although he trailed for the majority of the race, American Pharaoh accelerated in the home stretch as he passed Dortmund and Fire Line to secure the victory. His jockey, Victor Espinoza celebrated his second straight Kentucky Derby win after riding California Chrome to an easy victory in the 2014 Derby.
Fans speculate about whether American Pharaoh will be able to win the
Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown. Although a horse has not won the Triple Crown since 1978, some fans believe that American Pharaoh has potential to, and in fact, he is a 5/6 favorite to win the Preakness. Fire Line and Dortmund, the 2nd and 3rd place horses at the Kentucky Derby, are American Pharaoh’s main competition as the American Pharaoh only passed them in the last stretch of the race. If American Pharaoh wins the Preakness, he will likely be the favorite for the Belmont Stakes two weeks later as well. Last year, California Chrome won the Preakness but was not able to pull off victory in the Belmont, a common theme among horses vying for the Triple Crown.
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