WXXI AM News

Camila Domonoske

It took nearly four decades, but a horse has once again attained the honor that some call the most difficult achievement in sports: American Pharoah, after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, ran to victory in the Belmont Stakes as well.

He's the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. With his win, a total of 12 horses have now achieved the feat.

American Pharoah took the lead early in the mile-and-a-half long race, with Frosted close on his tail. From there, the colt never gave up the front position.

Updated at 7 p.m. EDT

Amtrak will be restoring rail service between Philadelphia and New York at 5:30 Monday morning, the rail service announced Sunday.

Service between the two cities had been shut down since Tuesday, when train 188 derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight and wounding more than 200.

The affected section of track is part of the Northeast Corridor — the busiest railroad in America.

American Pharoah is the king of the nation's horse races this month: in a driving rain, the Kentucky Derby winner took home top prize at the Preakness Stakes Saturday.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, he left the other horses at Pimlico Race Course eating his mud; with an unofficial time of 1:58.46, he led by an impressive seven lengths.

If he can win the Belmont Stakes on June 6, he'll be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) took home the best picture award at the 87th annual Academy Awards; the film also earned director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu the Oscar for directing.

Julianne Moore won best actress for her work in Still Alice, and Eddie Redmayne won best actor for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

Other notable wins:

Big Hero 6 won for best animated feature film.

As a cold rain poured down, the New England Patriots crushed the Super Bowl dreams of the Indianapolis Colts with a 45-7 victory.

The Patriots established their lead early, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. The Colts scored one touchdown in the second quarter, but after a Patriots field goal, New England still entered halftime 10 points in the lead.

President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday will call for higher taxes on wealthy Americans and tax credits for the middle class, The Associated Press reports, citing anonymous senior administration officials.

The proposed tax changes will include raising the capital gains rate on couples making over half a million dollars a year from 23.8 to 28 percent, the wire service continues, and requiring estates to pay capital gains tax on inherited securities.

Update at 1:33 a.m. ET

An undisclosed number of hostages are being held at a chocolate shop and cafe in Sydney, Australia. Reuters is reporting that police say they've made contact with the gunman and that TV footage showed three then two more people running from the scene. The number of hostages is said to be "not as high as 30," according to New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn.

Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET

The Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending package Saturday night on a 56-40 bipartisan vote, after overruling an objection from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Earlier Saturday, the Senate had voted on a short-term continuing resolution that extended their deadline to pass the spending bill. But in the evening, Senate leadership came to an agreement and the legislative body voted to move the bill forward sooner than anticipated, ending debate and allowing a vote Saturday night.

Republican congressman Bill Cassidy has defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana's runoff Senate election, boosting the Republican majority in the incoming Senate.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reported Friday that Cassidy, who has pledged to repeal Obamacare, followed a campaign strategy of linking Landrieu to Obama, highlighting her support of the unpopular president.

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