Triple Crown winner American Pharoah takes parade lap

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Victor Espinoza, celebrates atop American Pharoah #5, after winning the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6, 2015 in Elmont, New York. With the win, American Pharoah becomes the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has taken a victory lap at Churchill Downs before a loud, supportive crowd.

The bay colt paraded before the grandstand and around the paddock Saturday night before throngs of camera-clicking onlookers lined up four rows deep to view the 12th Triple Crown champion and first since 1978.

A steady cheer built as Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert helped lead American Pharoah on a clockwise path from his Barn 33 on the backside, with the sound rising as the champion passed the grandstand. It was even louder as he made several passes through the paddock.

Baffert, owner Ahmed Zayat and jockey Victor Espinoza accepted their gold and silver trophies for his Kentucky Derby victory last month that propelled the horse toward ending a 37-year Triple Crown drought.