With Belmont victory, colt owned by Orthodox Jew claims Triple Crown

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A 3-year-old colt owned by an Orthodox Jew from Egypt claimed the first Triple Crown in 37 years.

A 3-year-old colt owned by an Orthodox Jew from Egypt claimed the first Triple Crown in 37 years.

American Pharoah raced to victory on Saturday in the Belmont Stakes, the first horse to win the Belmont, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness since Affirmed in 1978.


Owner Ahmed Zayat, 52, a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey who was born and grew up in Cairo, said after the race “We all wanted it. We wanted it for the sport,” according to the Associated Press.

Zayat had watched horses he owned finish second in the Kentucky Derby three out of the last four years. In 2012, horses owned by Zayat finished second in each of the three Triple Crown races. Zayat, who breeds and sells horses, currently owns 144 horses.

Zayat and his family slept in RVs on Friday night and walked to the track on Saturday, in order to observe Shabbat, according to AP.

Jockey Victor Espinoza, who is not Jewish, visited the Lubavitcher rebbe’s grave on Thursday in Cambria Heights, New York, in the borough of Queens, where he prayed and presumably asked for good luck.

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