3 Reason to Root for American Pharaoh to win the Triple Crown.

Zayat Stables' American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade I $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA. ©Benoit Photo
Zayat Stables’ American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade I $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.
©Benoit Photo

1. History

Horse Racing’s triple crown might be the most elusive achievement in any sport. The first horse to ever win the triple crown was Sir Barton in 1919. In the almost 100 year since then, only 10 other horses of succeeded in taking home horse racing’s most elusive title. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978. If American Pharoah wins the Belmont Stakes, it would be 37 years in between Triple Crown winners, the longest drought in the history of the sport.

2. Near Misses

Horse racing has been desperate for another Triple Crown winner for almost 40 years. The 2000’s have been especially heart breaking, with 6 horses winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in the same season, before falling in the Belmont Stakes. Last year California Chrome finished 4th in the Belmont Stakes, after winning the first two. 2004 might be the most heartbreaking of the last twenty years, with Birdstone using the last stretch at the Belmont to overcome a 4 length deficit to edge Smarty Jones Triple Crown attempt by a length. Throw in other near misses from I’ll have Another, Big Brown, Funny Cide, and War Emblem, and the 2000’s have been a bit rough on the Triple Crown hopeful.

3. Because he can win it

One of the reasons that the Triple Crown so difficult, is the differences in lengths between the three races. The Kentucky Derby is 2 km, the Preakness Stakes is 1.9 km, and the Belmont Stakes is 2.4 km, a half a km longer than the Preakness. Following American Pharaoh’s slim victory at the Kentucky Derby, the expectations at the Preakness were lulled. But the 3 year old Colt destroyed the field in the rain, winning by something like 7 lengths. He led front the start, but came alive in the home stretch, pulling away from everyone. With that kind of performance, it has fans across the world believing that he has the ability to keep that going over the extra half a kilometer, and pull in the triple crown we have all been waiting for.

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Seven Things you Should Know about The Greatest Spectacle in Racing

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With its unique blend of rich traditions and technological innovations, the Indianapolis 500 truly lives up to the moniker “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Here are seven things you know about the Indianapolis 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

1. The race can reach about 140 decibels, roughly the same level as the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Even with ear plugs, which are a must, the noise is unlike anything most people will ever experience. It actually gets loudest under the grandstands, where the noise reverberates. Many spectators cite the noise as one of the main attractions of the Indianapolis 500.

2. How it became the Brickyard

After the original surface broke down, the race track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was replaced with 3.2 million paving bricks. A 36-inch strip of the original bricks remain on the front straightaway.

3. The Milk Tradition

Like many of the best traditions, drinking milk after the race was not planned. Louis Meyer drank milk after many of his races, and it just so happened it was captured on camera when he did so in Victory Lane in 1936. Nearly every Indianapolis 500 winner since has followed in his footsteps.

4. Tribute to Jeff Gordon

To pay tribute to Jeff Gordon, who is in his last NASCAR season, Townsend Bell chose the No. 24 car for the Indy 500. Bell had the car painted with the same colors and same font as Gordon’s No. 24 car. Gordon, who has won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway five times, will drive the pace car for the Indy 500. The only thing that would make the tribute even better would be if Bell can pull off an improbable victory.

5. You can bring your own cooler.

The Indianapolis 500 is one of the last major sporting events where you do not have to leave your seat or pay through the nose every time you want a cold beverage. Of all of the Indianapolis 500 traditions, this one may be the best.

6. Helio Castroneves has a chance to tie the record for most Indianapolis 500 victories with four.

Every Indy 500 is a special experience, but the chance to witness history in the making is always special. No active driver can match Helio’s three Indy 500 victories, and a fourth would put him in truly rare company along with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. Castroneves was the last rookie to win the Indianapolis 500, back in 2001.

7. Florida Georgia Line Will Play on Legends Day

Even if country music is not your cup of tea, there is no doubt Florida Georgia Line is one of the best fun-and-sun bands going. It is nearly impossible to watch them perform without having a smile on your face.

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Top Indy 500 Tailgating Events of 2015

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The Indianapolis 500 is known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” and while the racing is unlike anywhere else on the IndyCar circuit, tailgating at the Indy 500 is a spectacle all on its own. Tailgating at Indy 500 starts days before the race even begins, and includes everything from concerts, to glamping (yes that is a thing), and there is even an impromptu town equipped with a mayor, and an volunteer police force. Here are the top events to look for while planning your Indy 500 tailgating trip

Coke Lot

No discussion of Indy 500 tailgating is complete without an explanation of Coke Town. Coke Town, or the Coke Lot, is located just outside of turn 4 of the oval, along Georgetown Road near West 25th Street. It gets its name from a Coca Cola bottling plant located on the other side of the lot. The Coke Lot normally opens the Thursday before race day at the Indy 500 and is the scene of some of the most intense tailgating at the 500. Equipped with a sea of RV’s, tents, cars, and plenty of rowdy Indy 500 fans, the Coke Lot comes alive in the days before the race, and builds its own micro-society. The Coke Lot is not for the faint of heart, or families with children, but if you are up for the challenge of surviving 4 days in the heat, it will leave you with memories for a lifetime.

Glamping

If you are looking to have more relaxed, or family friendly fun, try the glamping (glamourous camping) on the Indy 500 infield. Glamping spaces are sold per tent, and include queen, twin, or 4 cot bed packages. Included in each of the packages is a tent, equipped with beds, linens, a bedside table, private restroom facilities, and a camping area. While the word might be a little silly, glamping is actually a really cool idea, letting you sleep in an actual bed, avoid all the setup and teardown time and effort of camping, and you get to wake up, on race day literally right next to the track. The communial nature of the glamping setup at the Indy 500 lets you socialize, meet new friends, and have a great time, without the total hooliganism that is the Coke Lot.

Snake Pit

One of the most fun experiences at the Indy 500 is the Snake Pit. The Snake Pit is a giant music festival that takes place inside of turn 3 on the massive infield at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Admission to the Snake Pit requires an Indy 500 race day ticket, as well as a Snake Pit wristband. The festival has grown over the years and now pulls some of the top EDM artists in the world. If you are looking to throw caution to the wind, and have the most addrenillin filled experience at the Indy 500, then you have to check out the Snake Pit. Thousands of fans amped to see the Indy 500, massive speakers, top EDM artists, and great food and drinks, what more could you want?

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