Tag Archives: Triple Crown

American Pharoah wins Triple Crown in Belmont Stakes

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYRA

After 37 years of waiting, it took a Pharoah to grab the Triple Crown.

With 90,000 on hand at Belmont Park, American Pharoah secured his place in racing history, capturing the Belmont Stakes and becoming the 12th horse to sweep the Triple Crown.

Fans from across the country gathered at Belmont Park roared as American Pharoah crossed the wire and rode off into the history books, etching his name with the likes of Citation, Secretariat and the previous Triple Crown champion, Affirmed.

American Pharoah took the lead the moment the gates opened and never looked back. He set moderate fractions as he looped his way around the 1 ½-mile Belmont oval, then kicked away from the rest of the field at the top of the stretch.

As Pharoah’s lead grew to 5 ½ lengths, the crowd in unison cheered loud enough to drown out track announcer Larry Collmus’ call and any other noise that could possibly be made. Once Pharoah crossed the finish line first, many in the crowd hugged and high-fived each other in celebration of the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

“This is for the sport after 37 years,” Ahmed Zayat, American Pharoah’s owner, said as he hoisted the triangular Triple Crown trophy later in the Belmont winner circle.

The victory also was vindication for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza, who each brought other horses to Belmont Park over the last 18 years with a chance to win the Triple Crown, only to fail.

“Down the backside, he was in his groove, and I knew that if he’s a great horse, he’s going to do it,” Baffert said in a post-race interview on NBC. “I just feel like I have a very special horse and he’s the one that won.”

“I was coming to this race with so much confidence the last two times,” Espinoza said. “He broke a little step slowly, but in two jumps, I was right on the lead. That’s right where I want to be … I tell you, I had the best feeling ever when he crossed the first turn.”

American Pharoah, the 3-5 favorite, finished ahead of Frosted and Keen Ice, respectively. The final time for the 1 ½-mile classic, 2:26.65, was the sixth-fastest in Belmont Stakes history.


American Pharoah goes for the Triple Crown at Belmont Park tomorrow

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy New York Racing Association/Adam Coglianese

Having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, American Pharoah already proved himself a champion thoroughbred; the only question left is whether he is a racing legend.

It will be answered tomorrow at Belmont Park, when American Pharoah goes to the post in the Belmont Stakes as the 14th horse since 1979 with a chance to sweep all three legs of the Triple Crown.

American Pharoah comes to Belmont on a six-race winning streak and off a Preakness win in which he went wire-to-wire amid a torrential rainstorm. Standing between him and the Triple Crown is a trip around the daunting 12-furlong circuit of Belmont’s main track and seven challengers, each of whom did not race in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Pharoah’s jockey and trainer have been in this spot before: Victor Espinoza and Bob Baffert brought War Emblem to Belmont in 2012 with a chance at a Triple Crown, only to see the colt stumble badly out of the gate and finish eighth. Last year, Espinoza rode California Chrome to a Triple Crown bid, but the colt finished fourth in the Belmont. Baffert came up short in two previous Triple Crown chances with Silver Charm in 1997 and Real Quiet in 1998 — the latter of which lost the Belmont by a nose.

As with any Triple Crown berth, a huge crowd is expected at Belmont Park on June 6. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) capped the maximum attendance at 90,000; last year’s Belmont Stakes drew over 100,000 but the cap aims to make patrons more comfortable and reduce overcrowding issues.

No general admission tickets will be sold at the gate tomorrow; all tickets must be purchased in advance online.

Last year’s event also ended on a sour note off-track due to problems with departing trains at the Belmont Park Long Island Rail Road station that left some patrons waiting hours after the final race to leave. The LIRR and NYRA spent $5 million to build two new concrete platforms and make other improvements to the station to better accommodate the thousands expected to travel to and from Belmont by rail Saturday.

Additionally, the NYRA scheduled a post-race Goo Goo Dolls concert to ease the crowd’s departure and reduce train and road congestion.

The $1.5 million Belmont Stakes highlights a championship 13-race card that includes nine other stakes races including the $1.25 million Metropolitan Mile for older horses, the $1 million Manhattan Stakes for older turf horses and the $1 million Ogden Phipps Handicap for older fillies and mares. The first post is 11:30 a.m.; the Belmont Stakes will go off at 6:52 p.m.

The Belmont Stakes field. Graphic courtesy NYRA.com

The Belmont Stakes field. (Graphic courtesy NYRA.com)


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

State Supreme Court Judge Claims NYPD Officer Attacked Him

A State Supreme Court Judge claims that he was attacked by a police officer in Queens Friday night. Thomas Raffaele said he saw a scuffle between two police officers and another man handcuffed on the ground Friday night. Read more: [NY1]

Queens Women On Alert As NYPD Seeks Suspect In Violent Sex Attacks

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a suspect wanted for sexual abuse, rape and robbery — all in the Forest Hills section of Queens.  The news has women in the neighborhood on alert. Read more: [1010WINS]

Queens bar installs regulation size basketball half-court 

A Forest Hills watering hole is giving new meaning to the term sports bar. Cobblestones Pub on Queens Blvd. has created a regulation-size half basketball court behind their establishment, raising the bar for what is considered a traditional parlor game. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Woman with blood disorder meets blood donor for first time 

When 37-year-old Radhika Sawh finally met one of the hundreds of anonymous donors who keep her alive, she shed tears for those who had shed blood for her. Read more: [New York Daily News]  

Belmont Stakes Favorite Draws 11th Spot; Strike Threat Averted

There was a gasp among some, but I’ll Have Another’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, seemed happy with the horse’s post position for the Belmont Stakes. I’ll Have Another was on the outside for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. So will a third outside position at post 11 be the key to the 12th Triple Crown racing history? Read more: [NY1]

Queens rivals for Congress duke it out for credit 

The only thing harder than getting something done in Albany is getting credit for it. So after New York State succeeded in making millionaires pay more in taxes, Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s supporters were furious when her rival in the race for Congress, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, sent out a mailing claiming he was “the only one who fought for the Millionaire’s Tax in the Assembly so the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share.” Read more: [New York Daily News]

Red Storm Baseball Prepares For Super Regionals

The St. John’s Red Storm baseball team is preparing for a date in the NCAA Super Regionals against Arizona. Watch video: [NY1]

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Labor Strike Threat Hovers Over Belmont Stakes

It’s been 34 years since horse racing’s last Triple Crown. This Saturday, I’ll Have Another will try to break that streak and win the Belmont Stakes, to add to his Kentucky Derby and Preakness victories. Read more: [NY1]

Police identify suspect in three Queens sexual assaults

A knife-wielding rapist who is believed to have attacked three young women in as many weeks in one Queens neighborhood is on the loose, police said. The suspect has been identified by authorities as Ibrahima Ragis, 20, who is 5-feet-5, weighs 160 pounds and has black hair. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Renewed hope for barren Far Rockaway Shopping Center

For the first time in decades, a new store is opening at the barren Far Rockaway Shopping Center. Food Dynasty is replacing the smaller associated supermarket that had anchored the ailing strip mall. And local officials are hoping the large, bright store will pave the way for new tenants and big improvements. Read more: [New York Daily News]

Minor Injury Reported After Car Sideswipes Queens School Bus

At least one Queens student suffered a minor injury Tuesday morning after the bus they were riding on was struck by a car. Department of Education officials say 35 students from the Yeshiva of Central Queens were on the bus when it was broadsided by a car at 76th Avenue near 174th Street. Read more: [NY1]

State To Offer Job Fairs In Each Borough

Governor Cuomo announced Tuesday that 11 job fairs will be held in the state this month, including one in each borough on Thursday. The events will bring together more than 375 employers statewide and feature more than 10,000 job openings. Read more: [NY1]

Bryce Harper’s single in 12th pushes Nats past Mets

You might think 19-year-old Bryce Harper would savor the moment after his first game-winning hit with two outs to give his team an extra-inning win. Instead, after lifting the Washington Nationals to a 7-6 win against the New York Mets in 12 innings Tuesday night, Harper was upset with his line in the box score. Read more: [ESPN]

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| lguerre@queenscourier.com


Etan Patz case: Pedro Hernandez arrested in Etan Patz’s 1979 disappearance

A heartbreaking mystery that tortured a Manhattan couple and stymied police for more than three decades apparently was solved Thursday after a New Jersey man confessed to strangling 6-year-old Etan Patz. Pedro Hernandez was charged with second-degree murder one day before the 33rd anniversary of little Etan’s disappearance — a crime that shocked New York and gave rise to the missing child movement. Read more: [New York Daily News]  


Forest Park Carousel Offers Rides Again

After almost four years the horses at the Forest Park Carousel in Woodhaven, Queens are being ridden once more, as the carousel is reopening just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. The vendor that used to operate the historic ride let its contract with the city expire at the end of 2008. Read more: [NY1]


Police Looking For Pair Of Suspects In Queens Subway Stabbing

Police are looking for help in finding a pair of suspects wanted in a Queens stabbing. The victim was riding a Manhattan-bound E train on Sunday around 4:15 a.m. when he got into a verbal dispute with two male suspects, authorities said. Read more: [1010WINS]


“I’ll Have Another” Trainer Suspended

The trainer of I’ll Have Another was suspended Thursday but will not miss the Belmont Stakes. Doug O’Neill was suspended 45 days after one of his horses was found with a performance-enhancing mixture in its system after a race in California in 2010. Read more: [NY1]


Slain Qns. woman blew boyfriend’s life savings gambling: landlady

A Queens man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death was furious with her for gambling away his life savings and leaving him thousands of dollars in debt, his landlady said yesterday. Feuk Youn Yoon, 56, and Yunhee Shin, 57, were fighting in his basement apartment on 214th Street in Bayside just before he allegedly killed her, police said. Read more: [New York Post]


Put thugs away for a long time, says blind victim of Forest Hills subway mugging  

The blind woman who was robbed by three heartless thieves in a Queens subway station doesn’t want sympathy — she just wants justice. “Scum like that should not be out there stealing from anybody — not just from a handicapped person — but anybody,” said Karen Eisenstadt, 69. “People should be able to walk around and not have this happen to them.” Read more: [New York Daily News]