Two weeks ago, it finally happened.
I mean, it *really* actually happened.
I watched at HRN HQ. As the horses galloped down the backstretch of Belmont Park, I relived every previous missed chance, every last-furlong heartbreak. My pulse raced with the horses – clammy palms and jittery fingers.
And then in the stretch, American Pharoah opened up on the field, powerful strides bounding over the ancient sands that have been the stage for so many legendary performances. Secretariat. Seattle Slew. Affirmed. More recently – Touch Gold, Victory Gallop, Birdstone, Tonalist.
Pharoah charged home in the Belmont Stakes, and nobody came to nip him at the wire. He didn’t stumble at the start or get stepped on or get caught in a deadly pace duel. He became the 12th Triple Crown Winner, the first in a generation. My first Triple Crown Winner.
When it happened, I felt a warmth bubble up from inside and calm my jitters. Everything was calm, at peace.
I hope horse racing can take this feeling and do something with it. I have my doubts. But I am going to try in my position to make it happen.
I owe it to American Pharoah.