History: Rewritten

On the coronation of the 12th Triple Crown winner.


American Pharoah makes a clean break out of the gate. (The stumbles of War Emblem and California Chrome fade away.) He glides to the lead, the warm glow of the late afternoon sun gently pushing him along. Ears up, he cheerfully carries the weight of history as he leads the charge around the first turn. (A troubled Big Brown fades away.)

Down the backstretch he pays no mind to the cluster of horses attempting to pressure and push at his back. To American Pharoah, it’s just another gallop as he travels along with that lyrical stride, his short tail waving pleasantly in the breeze. (A rank Spectacular Bid fades away.)

He asks Victor Espinoza for more rein, more room to run. “Wait a while, wait a bit,” Espinoza’s hands answer. American Pharoah listens and agrees that he can wait a while, wait a bit, even as his legs stretch longer than ever over Big Sandy.

Espinoza glances back as they enter the dappled shadows of the final turn and exhausted challengers fall behind as fresh ones surge forward. Ears perpetually up, American Pharoah also pays these horses no mind. It’s a lovely gallop on a lovely day, he says. (The tiring Funny Cide and Sunday Silence fade away.)

The homestretch approaches and Frosted makes a brief challenge. “You may run,” Espinoza says and there is no need to ask twice. American Pharoah opens up (Alysheba and Pleasant Colony fade away) and reaches after his long shadow. Effortlessly he surges forward (the courageous Charismatic and Smarty Jones fade away) and his strides, never wavering, never tiring, remain easy and arrow-straight. The weight of history begins to crack and crumble.

“Go,” says Espinoza and the bay colt beneath him responds instantly by putting lengths between himself and his challengers, who are done. Even the elongated shadow of Frosted falls behind. Pieces of history fly into the afternoon sunlight. (Silver Charm and Real Quiet fade away.)

History falls away as American Pharoah re-creates it and strides over the finish line and into immortality on this golden day at Belmont Park.

American Pharoah wins the Belmont Stakes — and Triple Crown — at Belmont Park, June 6, 2015.