King Of The Hill, A Number-One

American Pharoah, the 12th Triple Crown winner in American horse racing history.
American Pharoah, the 12th Triple Crown winner in American horse racing history.

I trembled at the sight of watching a horse run yesterday.

I felt myself shake in joy as American Pharoah galloped to the finish line to win the Belmont Stakes, and more importantly, the first Triple Crown since 1978 by winning the Stakes, the Preakness, and the Kentucky Derby all in the same year.

Keep in mind I was three months shy of seven the last time this happened. So many great horses came close to taking the crown, only to be denied at the Belmont of horse racing immortality. Watching A.P. win the Derby, then the Preakness, I just had a feeling he was going to be that horse, that SPECIAL horse that was going to end the jinx.

I was alone as the horses lined up to start, I did what I rarely do: I talked to my father up in heaven. That is, my biological father. I knew that sometime in either the 40’s or 50’s he went to the Kentucky Derby as a young man, and I asked him if I could see a Triple Crown winner today. Just felt A.P. was exceptional, and that a horse racing fan might just help this horse out.

As they headed down the stretch, there was little doubt Pharoah was going to win, pulling away in those last furlongs. I was jumping up and down in excitement hearing the non stop roar of the crowd as he crossed the finish line. That very roar sounded more like a release of emotion than anything else, mostly cheering, with a few moist eyes as some were no doubt overwhelmed with the majesty of what they just witnessed. It seemed to last a good 15 minutes before it died down.

Very few sporting events got a hold of me the way that one did. The last time I felt that way was that World Cup soccer game in 2010 between the U.S. and Algeria when Landon Donovan broke a 0-0 tie late in the game. People who follow sports may very well remember where they were yesterday, watching the newest Triple Crown winner.

And no doubt, someone is already working on some kind of video game or computer game featuring the 12 Triple Crown winners at the three Triple Crown tracks. If that game ever gets released, I want to own a copy of it!

3 thoughts on “King Of The Hill, A Number-One”

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