Race favorite American Pharoah ran through a driving rain to win the 140th Preakness Stakes on a muddy track at Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore on Saturday.

With the win and his Kentucky Derby victory on May 2, American Pharoah needs only to capture the Belmont Stakes on June 6 in New York to become horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978, when Affirmed accomplished the feat.

As the anthemic ”Maryland, My Maryland" was sung prior to Saturday's Preakness, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown series, the infield and grandstands of the Baltimore-area track emptied due to severe storms, thunder and lightning.

Despite heavy downpours before post time that made the track a muddy mess, jockey Victor Espinoza rode the Bob Baffert-trained horse to an easy seven-lengths victory. Tale of Verve finished second, with Divining Rod placing third.

American Pharoah paid $3.80 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.80 to show. Tale of Verve paid $19 and $8.80, with Diving Rod returning $5.20.

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