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I’m not a die-hard fan of horse racing but am an ex-non-discriminatory (cats had to win me over real slowly, a story for another time) animal lover. I sat on the periphery of the excitement exhibited by my circle of fans backing American Pharaoh. I listened to one spiel about how it was so unfair that most of the other horses were all well-rested and poor American Pharaoh was at a disadvantage because of it. And then American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown – the first to do so since 1978 and I got interested.

American Pharaoh

That’s what this once in a lifetime feat did to someone like me, perhaps that is what it will do for many others like me and casual fans. You see everyone likes a hero, the one who proves it can be done in the face of all naysayers. I read that the horses compete in three big races (hence the name Triple Crown) in a little over three months:

  • The Kentucky Derby In Louisville, Kentucky
  • Preakness Stakes In Baltimore, Maryland
  • Belmont Stakes In Elmont, New York

American-Pharoah Champion

So, the horses have to travel to three different states just to compete depending on where their home base is, which many complain leaves the horses tired. Others said  that it’s a system that’s not set up to produce too many Triple Crown Winners. I don’t know the history of these races but maybe the original organizers wanted it that way — make it so tough that only once in a lifetime does a hero come along and you’d be lucky if it’s in your lifetime!

My research revealed that American Pharaoh was the only horse that competed in all three races, so all of the other horses were well-rested and the odds were against him based on this fact and the history of other horses that had attempted the same thing and failed.

American Pharoah Pic

— photo courtesy zayatstables.com

American Pharaoh showed me that sometimes in life, it’s not about whether you’re well-rested, prepared, well-trained and many other such parameters we measure the path to success by, sometimes the tipping point that takes you across the finish line is how much fight you still have left in you and American Pharaoh still had a lot of fight left in him, proven by the fact that he didn’t just win by a hairbreadth of his trademark chewed up tail but with a 5-1/2 length. (A length is a unit of measurement to describe the distance between horses in a race and it refers to the length of a horse from nose to tail – approximately 8 feet.); that’s quite an impressive win from the 3-year-old colt American Pharaoh – The American Hero Horse! Sometimes, it boils down to the fight left in you, go give it all you’ve got, you just might win!

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TUF Quote

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