American Pharoah raced through a muddy track and pulled away down the stretch to win the Preakness Stakes, taking the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
As the horses were coming out to the starting gate, a torrential rain began, forcing Pimlico officials to have spectaors on the infield take refuge under the tents there.
American Pharoah, though, seemed undaunted. Starting in the pole position, he broke to the lead, and held off a challenge around the 3/4-mile mark, charging down the stretch to win going away.
It is the second straight year that jockey Victor Espinosa has ridden the winner of both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. He'll get another chance to win the Triple Crown on June 6, when the Belmont Stakes is run. If American Pharoah wins, he would be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
"I don't even want to think about that now," trainer Bob Baffert said. "I want to enjoy this."
Coming in on a five-race winning streak, American Pharoah was a heavy favorite in the Preakness.
He broke fast on the sloppy track, with thunder rumbling overhead, took control early and won easily.
"It went very well," Espinoza said. "He bounced out of there. He broke a little tiny bit slow and I pushed him to the front."
Tale of Verve finished second, a length ahead of Divining Rod. Dortmund was fourth, followed by Mr. Z, Danzig Moon, Firing Line and Bodhisattva.
The winner paid $3.80, $3.40 and $2.80. Tale of Verve returned $19 and $8.80, and Divining Rod paid $5.20.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.