Updated: June 6, 2015 7:20 PM ET | Originally published: June 2, 2015 5:02 PM EDT

Hope springs eternal at the racetrack. At the Belmont Stakes on June 6, American Pharoah became the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown. The bay colt was the favorite among oddsmakers after beating the fields in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Since Affirmed’s Triple Crown in 1978, 13 horses have won the first two races only to fall short of the prize. The past nine Belmont winners did not race in the Preakness; fresh horses tend to do well on Belmont’s long, 1.5-mile track. No matter. The potential for a Triple Crown winner gets racing fans everywhere excited about the Belmont, and American Pharoah did not disappoint.

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Write to Sean Gregory at sean.gregory@time.com.

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