American Pharoah Ready to Glide into History Books

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D.S. Williamson

June 3rd, 2015

Right after the Belmont draw on June 3, 2015, it became apparent that some extremely bad-Belmont-luck is going to have to happen to keep American Pharoah from gliding over Big Sandy and into the history books.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has looked every bit the part of a Triple Crown winner. His competition doesn't appear to hold a candle to him.

But, for some reason, the hype doesn't seem to be as loud as it has been in the past. It felt like there was much more hype surrounding California Chrome last year when the son of Lucky Pulpit had his date with destiny. There are some, like me, who believe that only the worst luck can keep American Pharoah from the winner's circle on Saturday. He's the best bred horse to try for the Triple Crown since maybe Charismatic. He's got a jockey on his back that has gone through the rigors of a Triple Crown chase twice before in Victor Espinoza. His trainer, Bob Baffert, is arguably the Coach K of Triple Crown Horse Racing having won the Belmont once, the Preakness Stakes 6 times and the Kentucky Derby 4 times.

Based on every day handicapping principals, only two horses appear capable of beating American Pharoah in the Belmont. The first is Madefromlucky who may have turned on a light bulb or two during his Peter Pan win. The second is Materiality who is such a brilliant front-runner that if Espinoza aboard the Derby champ allows the son of Afleet Alex to lope along on the lead, he could very well win by open lengths. But outside of those two, both trained by Todd Pletcher, the rest of the field looks downright boring. There is something interesting about Mubtaahij, but he'll have to improve a ton to touch American Pharoah in this race. Keen Ice made a nice move, but he'll have to change his style some. Frammento looks to be out of his league and Tale of Verve could turn into a nice horse but the Belmont seems like too much too soon.

So why isn't there more excitement?  Maybe, I'm just visiting the wrong blogs or reading the wrong articles. Or, maybe, after so many tries and so much disappointment, people just don't care any more. But, then, that's what special horses do. They get people out of their seats and cheering again. Is American Pharoah that special horse?  I believe that he is. I've never seen a horse run with this kind of action and I've been picking horses since I was 12 years old. I just turned 42 last week.
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