NASHVILLE, TN — Just two days after sweeping the collective heart of America up into a love of all things equine that they haven’t experienced since reading Black Stallion in the fifth grade, it seems that American Pharoah will have his Triple Crown revoked. The 3-year old horse captured the nation’s imagination by running really fast around a track while carrying a small man on his back, running faster than all the other horses (who were, to be fair, also carrying small men on their backs). American Pharoah succeeded in winning all three of the three races that make up the Triple Crown: The Kentucky Derby (the only time that people drink mint juleps without feeling like idiots), the Preakness Stakes (which is routinely ignored like the middle child that it is), and the Belmont Stakes (which people only care about if a single horse has already won the two previous events). The Triple Crown is considered one of the most difficult challenges in all of sportsing and has not been won for 37 years. All of that makes the revocation of American Pharoah’s award all the more disheartening.
According to the American National Affiliation for Thoroughbred Horse Racing and Associated Sports Events (ANATHRASE) made the declaration on the Monday following the win. The reason given for revoking the prize was that American Pharoah had failed to spell his name correctly in any of the three races and was therefore disqualified from competition.
“We were just as excited as everyone else by the win,” said Walter Bruchley, spokesman for ANATHRASE. “But when we went to type up the congratulatory certificates, we kept getting that little red squiggly line underneath the ‘Pharoah’ in American Pharoah. So we launched an investigation and discovered that the correct spelling was actually ‘pharaoh’ and that it referred to the rulers of ancient Egypt, which seems to be a country somewhere in Africa. Now, a lot of our members wanted to let it slide, but in the end we determined that we couldn’t let this kind of illiteracy stand. Race horses are role models to all the young colts out there, and if we let them see an illiterate horse take home our sport’s greatest prize… well, that’s a slippery slope right there and horses can break an ankle really easily. So.. yeah, no Triple Crown this year.”
Critics of ANATHRASE’s decision claim that they are trying to keep less-privileged horses out of racing, ensuring that the sport remains dominated by the ultra-wealthy. They argue that American Pharoah deserves the Triple Crown solely on the basis of his ability to run really fast (while carrying a small human) and that instilling a legitimacy test on the sport is tantamount to a poll tax. The result would be that thousands of aspiring young horses would be locked out from competition and that the sport would be greatly diminished because of it.
When asked for comment PETA threw a bucket of red paint on our reporter.