There have only been 11 thoroughbreds that have won the Triple Crown since its conception. What is the Triple Crown you may well ask? In the grand old USA, the Triple Crown includes the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
Thoroughbreds are the game here. Yes, thoroughbreds. That beautiful sleek horse. For those of you that are new to horses or even racing a Thoroughbred is a horse best known for its speed and agility when it comes top racing. An interesting fact is that nearly all Thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees back to three original stallions. The breeding and training of Thoroughbreds is heavily regulated when it comes to eventing horses. Breeding and lineage books are kept and stallions are not heavily mated. The primary reason for this is to preserve the value of the lineage.
The USA has the largest number of registered thoroughbred foals born each year followed by Australia.
Anyway, back to the eleven legends that have defeated the odds and won all three events. This is no mean feat. Looking at the statistics of it all there have been as of 2014 a total 4,144 entrants in the three events with 289 horses winning a single stake, 52 horses have won 2 of the stakes and 11 legends have won the Triple Crown.
So here is a rundown of the victorious Triple Crown Winners
1919 Sir Barton
1930 Gallant Fox
1937 War Admiral
1943 Count Fleet
1977 Seattle Slew
2015 American Pharaoh
American Pharaoh can now be added to the list of Triple Crown Winners.
By winning Belmont Stakes on June 6, American Pharaoh is in the elite group of Triple Crown Winners. It has been over 30 years since a Triple Crown Legend has been crowned.
If you have wondered about what comprises the Triple Crown please go and check out our article insert Triple Crown article link. In the meantime here is a little rundown of what makes up the Triple Crown Stakes.
The Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby is held annually on the first Saturday of May in Louisville, Kentucky. The resplendent Churchill Downs track has been running since 1875 and has the largest turnout of patrons compared to the other stake races. Known as the “the fastest two minutes in sports” Kentucky Derby is home for traditions. The traditional race drink is a mint julep, when tune “My Old Kentucky Home” is played as horses are paraded in front of the grandstands and the winning horse is presented with a lush blanket of fresh roses.
The second leg of the stakes is the Preakness Stakes. Held in Baltimore, Maryland. Held on the 3rd Saturday of May annually.
What sets Preakness apart from the rest is that once the winner has been officially declared a painter climbs to the top of the replica of the Old Clubhouse cupola and paints the owners silk colours onto the jockey. What a way to celebrate!
And lastly, but not to be forgotten is the Belmont Stakes. The third racing event that completes the USA Triple Crown. Held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. Nicknamed “The Test of the Champion” this race event has truly stood the test of time. Having been relocated at least three times in its 148-year history it has truly in its own right become a champion. The longest of the three tracks in the Triple Crown this race requires all the stamina a thoroughbred can muster.
The Winners Trophy
So the Triple Crown Trophy is the icing on the cake. Not only does the winning horse, owner, trainer and rider all take the sizeable winners purses from the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes and the respective trophies, they also get the coveted Triple Crown Trophy. Commissioned in 1950 an amazing three-sided vase was created by Cartier. Each face of the vase represents all three of the stakes. There is no doubt about it, the beauty of this trophy is just as rewarding as the honour of the win. When not on tour the trophy is displayed in Kentucky.
So as we sit and wait to see if American Pharaoh will take all three races this year we can still appreciate the glamour and pursuit of being a part of the Triple Crown fever.