Most of us know that trophies deserve a special place where they can be seen and enjoyed, but seldom touched and smudged. That may be true for your personal trophies and it’s especially true for some of the most famous award statues in all of sports and entertainment, including the Triple Crown. The shining triangular cup known as Triple Crown trophy was commission in 1950 by Thoroughbred Racing Association and is currently used to recognize the winner of the Belmont Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. It’s an award that’s been bestowed on only a triumphant few, and when it finally travels away from its pristine exhibit, it risks being covered with smudges and blotches, but for the very best reasons a trophy should.
“On Saturday, about 15 minutes after American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, the trophy that comes with that achievement was being smudged by dozens of ungloved hands and kissed by joyful lips. The gloves were off. Under a bright sun, that did not seem to diminish the gleam of a trophy that had waited a long time for such a celebration. American Pharoah’s owner, Ahmed Zayat, raised the trophy over his head as the Belmont Park crowd cheered. He handed it to the trainer Bob Baffert, who handed it to the jockey Victor Espinoza. Espinoza handed it to Zayat’s son, Justin, who a few minutes earlier had been sprinting around the winner’s circle like a toddler on Christmas morning who had just unwrapped his favorite toy.”