By Kristen Johanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – American Pharaoh joins the select group of racing horses that have won the Triple Crown, and it only took 37 years. But why is it so difficult for a horse to win all three races?READ MORE: SEPTA Union Unanimously Approves Strike If Deal Isn't Reached
In 2004, Philadelphia favorite Smarty Jones was a contender to win the Triple Crown, but lost during the third leg at the Belmont Stakes.
“When the failed, it tugged at the heart-strings of racing fans who were just so desperate for a Triple Crown,” says horse racing expert Steve Ross.
Ross says there is a reason why only twelve horses in history won the title:READ MORE: Double Shooting In Eastwick Kills 25-Year-Old Man, Wounds Pregnant Woman: Police
“The Kentucky Derby is a mile-and-a-quarter, the Preakness is 1/16 shorter — a mile and 3/16ths — and then the most daunting is the Belmont, which is a mile-and-a-half. That’s what makes it so difficult to win all three races in that short period of time. ”
Only three-year-old horses compete for the title, after which, they will continue to race in smaller derbies, or enjoy a more, relaxing lifestyle.
“Smarty Jones is now in the bluegrass state of Kentucky, making love to a lot of high class mares and hopefully we will have a lot of Smarties coming to the races,” Ross says.MORE NEWS: 'I Want To Go To Class': Philadelphia Students, Parents On Edge As Possible SEPTA Strike Could Force Virtual Learning
He adds the newest Triple Crown champion injects enthusiasm back into the industry.