American Pharoah Dominates Preakness to Set Up Run for Triple Crown

American Pharoah AP Preakness

American Pharoah triumphed in dominating fashion at a muddy Pimlico Race Course.

The victory escalates the drama for the Belmont Stakes on June 6. American Pharoah attempts to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed captured the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes in 1978.

The 4-5 favorite grabbed an early lead from the #1 post position. American Pharoah fought off an early challenge from Mr. Z before pulling away and leaving no doubt down the homestretch.

Tale of Verve placed and Divining Rod showed. Mr. Z fall back in the pack after his early challenge and Dortmund, though making his case midway through the race, ran out of gas before the finish line to grab fourth place.

“Great horses do great things,” trainer Bob Baffert told NBC. “He showed it today.”

American Pharoah ran relatively faster against the field under torrential rains than he did under sunny skies at Churchill Downs. He finished the Preakness with a time of 1:58:46.

“As soon as I take the lead,” jockey Victor Espinoza explained after the race, “that was it.”