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Triple Crown winner American Pharoah quietly returns home

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    Victor Espinoza reacts after crossing the finish line with American Pharoah (5) to win the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race at Belmont Park
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. >> Triple Crown champion American Pharoah quietly returned home to Churchill Downs as he prepared for boisterous celebrations 37 years in the making.

Less than 24 hours after winning the Belmont Stakes to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since 1978, the bay colt received the VIP treatment upon his return to Louisville. Police escorted American Pharoah’s transport van from the adjacent airport to trainer Bob Baffert’s Barn 33, and the horse was cheered like a rock star by hundreds of fans as his entrance was broadcast over the jumbo screen overlooking the storied track.

The energy figures to ratchet up for the horse, whose display in the track’s Kentucky Derby museum was updated to reflect his historic achievement. Churchill Downs’ famous twin spires will display Zayat Stables’ turquoise-and-gold colors all week.

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