Donegal Racing

Keen Ice takes third in historic Triple Crown race

June 8, 2015

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Article via The Des Moines Register, John Naughton. Photo by Anthony Grupp uso/USA TODAY Sports

American Pharoah earned a place in thoroughbred history by winning the Triple Crown race Saturday at Belmont Park.

Jerry Crawford of Des Moines had his eyes directed to Keen Ice, the third-place finisher in the Belmont Stakes.

"When you have a horse in the race, you're watching your own horse," Crawford said.

Keen Ice is owned by Donegal Racing, a group that includes more than 20 Iowan investors.

American Pharoah broke to an early lead and dominated the final of the three Triple Crown races. He won before a sold-out crowd at Belmont and a national TV audience eager to see the first horse achieve that feat since Affirmed swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 1978.

Keen Ice will receive a smaller piece of fame — taking third in one of the most-watched races in years.

Perhaps a sliver of the cover of Sports Illustrated?

"We will be mentioned in the same breath for a long time to come," Crawford said.

Keen Ice placed seventh in the Kentucky Derby May 2.

Crawford said after the Derby that he planned to skip the Preakness and instead prepare Keen Ice for a stronger effort at Belmont.

That strategy appeared to help the horse Saturday.

Keen Ice started at the back of the eight-horse pack from the gate.

Jockey Kent Desormeaux drove his mount on the outside to try to gain a strong position.

Keen Ice closed strong, taking third.

Crawford watched Donegal's entry rush toward the finish line. A roar from the crowd ran through the park as American Pharoah became the 12th thoroughbred to earn the Triple Crown.

"There was like a sonic boom across that track," Crawford said.

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