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'He belongs to all of us': Why American Pharoah will continue to race

by Scott Stump /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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Now that American Pharoah has made history by becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, the horse will continue to race rather than be immediately put out to stud as he basks in the glow of a rare feat.

"Before anything, I'm a fan,'' owner Ahmed Zayat told Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview on TODAY Monday. "I love the sport. I love my horses, and he belongs to all of us right now. Everybody had been waiting for such a long time, and a sport without any star is not a sport. I just want to show him off. He defines greatness."

American Pharoah became the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, and just the 11th Triple Crown winner in history.

More on American Pharoah:

  • On doing what 12 other horses failed to do since 1978: "You can't be just a little bit better,'' trainer Bob Baffert told Lauer. "You have to be way better to get it done, and that's what this horse is. He was superior. We all wait for that one super horse, and I think this is him."
  • On hearing the roar of the crowd down the stretch: "I think everyone was waiting to see something really special, and we got that,'' Zayat said. "It was an unbelievable, magical moment. The crowd, they went crazy. That particular moment is going to be frozen in my memory forever and ever and ever.''

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter and Google+.

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