The Pharoah Effect: Triple Crown Win Gives Racing a Boost - NBC 7 San Diego
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The Pharoah Effect: Triple Crown Win Gives Racing a Boost

During American Pharoah's final race, NBC posted its highest-rated Breeders' Cup Classic telecast in 20 years

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Pharoah Effect: Triple Crown Win Gives Racing a Boost
    AP
    FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file photo, fans take photos and greet Triple Crown winner American Pharoah after the horse arrived at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. Since American Pharoah completed his sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, the past few weeks have turned into a whirlwind of appearances, events and parties around the country for owner Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza. American Pharoah, too. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

    The first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes since Affirmed in 1978, and just the 12th in history, ended a long-awaited 37-year drought. 

    And there are signs American Pharoah's Triple Crown win last year has been good for racing. 

    Some recently released findings show wagering on American races is up 3.1 percent through March, to $2.4 billion. Wagering on American races in 2015 was up 1.2 percent to $10.6 billion despite less race days, less races and less starters.

    During American Pharoah's final race, NBC posted its highest-rated Breeders' Cup Classic telecast in 20 years — an average of 4.6 million viewers between 5:45-6 p.m., up 53 percent from 2014. 

    Derby Race Kicks Off Triple Crown Season

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    The Kentucky Derby, also known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports," is the first of three races in the Triple Crown and it all starts May 7, 2016.
    (Published Friday, May 6, 2016)

    At Ashford, and at other horse farms in Kentucky, tour traffic is up.

    "The interest from the general public has been much greater than we are used to," Ashford manager Dermot Ryan said. "It's probably opened many people's eyes to what these horses are up to once they leave the track."

    At Oaklawn Park, where American Pharoah won the Rebel and Arkansas Derby before his Triple Crown run, attendance was up 12 percent and on-track handle was up eight percent.

    "I'm sure we benefited from the 'Pharoah' effect to a certain extent," Oaklawn's director of racing David Longinotti said.