Las Vegas Sun

February 18, 2019

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horse racing:

American Pharoah nearly a $2 betting favorite to win Triple Crown

American Pharoah

Garry Jones / AP

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert walks Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah out of the barn to show him off at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday, May 3, 2015. American Pharoah is Baffert’s fourth Kentucky Derby champion.

American Pharoah is a minus-185 favorite at William Hill Sports Book in Nevada to become horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

After today winning the Preakness and two weeks ago capturing the Kentucky Derby, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s horse will run in the final leg of the Triple Crown June 6 at the Belmont Stakes in New York.

American Pharoah jockey Victor Espinoza has been in this position before. Last year, he rode California Chrome to wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but took fourth in the Belmont behind Tonalist.

Oddsmakers like American Pharoah’s chances better. California Chrome last year opened as a minus-120 favorite to win at Belmont after his Preakness victory. At minus-185, or wagering $185 to win $100, American Pharoah’s convincing run today — his sixth straight win — in the Preakness provides plenty of reasoning for the lopsided betting line.

Despite starting from the unfavorable No. 1 post, American Pharoah broke fast on the sloppy track in driving rain in an easy Preakness win.

Before the Kentucky Derby, the Triple Crown’s first leg, American Pharoah was 8-to-1 at William Hill to win the Triple Crown. It is, after all, one of the more difficult feats in sports — there’s been 11 Triple Crown winners since 1919; 23 horses all-time have won the first two legs before coming up short at the Belmont.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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