American Pharoah after winning the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6, 2015, in Elmont, N.Y.
Photograph by Al Bello — Getty Images
By Andrew Nusca
June 7, 2015

Whoa.

On Saturday American Pharoah—as opposed to “pharaoh,” the proper spelling of the word—won the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in a generation and only the 12th in nearly a century.

The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing is a trio of races for three-year-old horses run in May and early June of each year in the United States. Their names are arguably more famous than the circuit on which they reside: The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.

To the winner goes the Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950. And, of course, a cash prize: American Pharoah takes home $800,000 with his weekend Belmont win; never mind the prizes for the Preakness and Derby.

Horse racing is big business in the U.S. According to the American Horse Council, which represents the industry in Washington, the horse industry “has a direct economic effect on the U.S. of $39 billion annually” and is responsible for 460,000 full-time equivalent jobs. About 4.6 million Americans are involved in the industry and tens of millions serve as spectators.

More than a dozen horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but lost the Belmont in the 37 years since the last horse won the Triple Crown. Here’s a look at that winner—and the 10 that precede him.

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