How great was American Pharaoh's Triple Crown run?

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Answered by: Robert, An Expert in the Triple Crown Category
As the weather slowly warms and the snow and ice of winter turns to the birds and flowers of spring sports fans start gearing up

for the best time of year. Baseball is starting, the NBA and NHL are heading into the final push for the playoffs and March is ready

to spread it's unique form of Madness. Throw in the Indy 500, racing's Super Bowl, and you have a veritable banquet feast for the

sports addict - myself included.

To this we must add the five week tournament known as the Triple Crown, where the best horses in the world engage in the quest

for sports most elusive prize. While no title is easy to claim in any sport - though some can make it seem so at times - there is no

other crown harder to achieve - and less achieved - than the Triple Crown. It is the Stanley Cup, Lombardi Trophy and Green Jacket

rolled into one, a ball made more of tears, disappointment and the near misses that keep one awake at night than the thrill of victory

and a place in history.

How about twelve winners in one-hundred forty-one years worth of tears?

It is against this backdrop that I think we should take a moment to think again about American Pharaoh's run to glory.

How great was American Pharaoh's Triple Crown run?

Pretty damn great.

Not just the actual victories on the track in the Kentucky Derby,the Preakness and the Belmont; the whole five weeks of magic, even transcendence we were all a witness to, even a part of. Looking back - even a scant two years later - I consider it one of the great sports "moments in time" we have been privileged to experience.

Not just the rarity of the feat. That alone would have been celebrated as a great accomplishment, his name added to that most exclusive club and with it the glory of winning a championship few have in his sport. And, yes, it would have been a bit more special since it would have been the first in what felt like a lifetime. Maybe two lifetimes.

No it was the way American Pharaoh captured the public. How even the non-sports fans knew who he was. How the media was ten, even twenty deep, at the rails watching him work out. How the fans showed up in the thousands there also, just to catch a fleeting

glimpse as he thundered by or a portrait in the rare moments he stood still, like a king surveying his kingdom, jostling for position with cell phones and cameras held high. How his name and his quest could be heard in bars and cafes and lunchrooms and offices. How the newspapers and magazines, for a few brief moments that May, put the Big Events of this crazy world on page two so a horse whose name was spelled incorrectly (another part of his strange allure no doubt) could have top-billing. How even sports radio, with it's talking heads more often babbling on about created dramas and nitpicking athletes no longer allowed to be human, decided maybe it was time

to raise an athlete on a pedestal and actually keep him there, instead of making his lofty perch a target for throwing stones and kicking out the legs on which it stands.

How for once you could believe the hype.

Oftentimes it is hard to appreciate something fully as we are in the midst of it. Too much "real life" takes away our attention, too many other "important" things clamor for our focus. It is only with time and some clarity and perspective that we are able to realize what happened, what we witnessed, what we experienced, even what we were a part of. As I look back - even these two scant years later -

I realize more than ever how special a time that was, for sports fans and even those who really don't care about sports, how a horse

who couldn't spell his own name right rose above the Everyday to give us something we could all follow, hang our hopes on and in the end celebrate.

How great was American Pharaoh's Triple Crown run?

It was pretty damn great.

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