The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horse Racing is one of the most sought-after awards in horse racing! Called the Triple Crown most of the time, a three-year old racehorse must win three races in one year to win this title: The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Only eleven horses have won the Triple Crown, and there hasn’t been a winner since 1978.
But that might change this year with American Pharaoh, the horse that many people believe could win the Triple Crown this year. American Pharaoh is a bay colt born in Kentucky. He has a white marking that looks like a star on his forehead, and a very short tail. Some say that his tail may have been chewed off by another horse when American Pharaoh was a baby!
On May 2nd, American Pharaoh won the Kentucky Derby. Everyone knew that he was getting better with each race, but no one could have guessed how much he was learning and improving. By the time the Preakness Stakes race came around, the whole horse racing world was talking about American Pharaoh.
But when American Pharaoh lined up to start the Preakness Stakes race, he had some bad luck. He had to start in the “rail” position. This was a bad place to start, and in fact, no horse had won the Preakness Stakes from the rail since 1994. He would have to work really hard to win this race—and that’s just what he did! American Pharaoh had such a large lead by the end of the race, he tied the record for the sixth-largest margin of victory (or distance ahead) of the other horses.
Now, American Pharaoh is getting ready for the biggest race of his life. He has been practicing at Churchill Downs, the track where the Kentucky Derby is raced, and on June 6th he will race at the Belmont Stakes for a chance at the Triple Crown. Can this amazing horse take the Triple Crown and become the first holder of the title in almost 40 years? Many people think he can.