NEW YORK (AP) -- There has not been a Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978. That 37-year wait for horse racing's 12th Triple Crown champion could end today.
American Pharoah already has pocketed the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. If he can handle seven rivals in the "Test of a Champion," the mile-and a-half Belmont Stakes, he will race into immortality.
We have been here before.
Twelve times horses entered the starting gate in the Belmont with both wins, only to come up short at the finish, from Spectacular Bid in 1979 to California Chrome last year. I'll Have Another won the first two legs in 2012, but was scratched the day before the race with an injury.
American Pharoah has some of the best connections in horse racing. His trainer is Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. And he will be ridden by Victor Espinosa. He already has produced two flawless rides, avoiding all trouble in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby and surviving a hard thunderstorm to win in the slop at the Preakness.