(NBCSPORTS) — American Pharoah becomes the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown, beginning with Sir Barton in 1919 and most recently Affirmed in 1978. After Affirmed’s Triple Crown win, 12 horses won the first two legs of the Triple, only to lose the bid at the Belmont, either because of an upset or because they did not start or complete the race.
Espinoza rode American Pharoah during this year’s Triple Crown races. It was the second straight year that Espinoza went to Belmont with a chance at the mark; he was the jockey of California Chrome a year ago. Espinoza also rode War Emblem to the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2002 before finishing eighth at Belmont.
For American Pharoah trainer Bob Baffert, Saturday marked his fourth shot at the Triple Crown. He also trained Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem, teaming with Espinoza for that attempt.