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'Couldn't be prouder': American Pharoah's jockey, trainer on Triple Crown win

A Pharoah was crowned on Saturday as American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes and became the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown.
/ Source: TODAY

The man who rode American Pharaoh into the record books said he was relishing the excitement of a Triple Crown win but suspected early on in the race that history was in the making.

Jockey Victor Espinoza joined TODAY — along with trainer Bob Baffert and the history-making horse — exclusively on Sunday to discuss the monumental victory at the Belmont Stakes a day earlier.

"Early in the race, probably in the first turn, I already knew that American Pharoah was going to do it," he told TODAY's Erica Hill, adding that he “didn't want to celebrate until we passed the wire."

Espinoza told TODAY that he had barely slept “one minute” since the win and was taking time to celebrate.

Trainer Baffert said he “couldn't be prouder” of American Pharaoh.

"He's just an incredible animal and so beautiful and kind,” Baffert said. “He deserved it. He's a great horse."

Emphasizing just how special American Pharoah is, Baffert said that he has been widely adored by the horse-racing community even before his win.

"Everybody was here to watch him win," he said. "He makes me look really smart."