NEW YORK — American Pharoah, the odds-on favorite, became the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown, winning the Belmont Stakes on Saturday evening.
The 3-year-old bay colt led wire-to-wire and defeated second-place Frosted by a comfortable margin.
He is the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, when Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
American Pharoah was the only horse in the race who had run both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. But he showed early he didn’t have tired legs.
Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza each won their first Triple Crown with American Pharoah after multiple prior attempts.
Until Saturday, 13 horses since 1979 had won at Churchill Downs and Pimlico but failed to triumph at Belmont.
In 1978, Affirmed, ridden by Steve Cauthen, defeated second-place Alydar in three exciting races.
Triple Crown winners
1919 — Sir Barton
1930 — Gallant Fox
1935 — Omaha
1937 — War Admiral
1941 — Whirlaway
1943 — Count Fleet
1946 — Assault
1948 — Citation
1973 — Secretariat
1977 — Seattle Slew
1978 — Affirmed
2015 — American Pharoah