MUBTAAHIJ ran his heart out in Saturday’s Gr1 Belmont Stakes over 2400m at Belmont Park and claimed his small slice of history in the shared glory of trainer Bob Baffert’s incredible racing machine American Pharoah (headline photo), who broke a 37-year jinx by becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the US Triple Crown.
Mubtaahij (Irad Ortiz jr) was beaten 7.5-lengths into fourth in the prestigious Belmont after tracking the winner into the straight and trying his level best to keep up – a gallant performance in front of a record 131 680 crowd and one that warmed the hearts of his connections and supporters around the world.
“Mubtaahij ran a good race, we’re proud to have been a part of this historic occasion. Thanks to my team for their work in his preparation. Thanks also to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum for making this journey possible for us. Mubtaahij took on some of the best in the world, he was beaten by a thoroughbred of the highest calibre and a few others on their home turf and we can all hold our heads high. We’ve done well in one of the world’s greatest races, we take home a share of the prize money and an invaluable experience.”
“This was an absolutely awesome experience,” echoed an emotional Diane de Kock, who enjoyed a sensational time in New York.
Mubtaahij (blue cap) – just a neck between third and fourth.
Mike congratulated Baffert and the connections of American Pharoah, who now enters the pantheon as the 12th US Triple Crown winner, joining Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978).
Jockey Victor Espinoza, 43, secured his first Belmont victory, having come up short with the Derby and Preakness winners War Emblem and California Chrome.