If you were wondering why racehorses train so much for every stake race they enter it will always fall down to desire and the passion to with the three race championship series Triple Crown. Just like us humans, specifically the athletes, they try so hard to train and win some qualifying races for them to reach the top. That goes the same with horse racers.
As you all know, to win the Triple Crown, you must first win at Kentucky Derby then onwards to the next Preakness Stake race in Maryland and on to the verdict race at the dirt tracks of Belmont. Win all three and you definitely be crowned as the champ of the season.
However, winning such a title is a tough one. For more than a hundred year since it all started, there are only 13 well-trained thoroughbred horses who won the title.
Here are your Magic 13 Triple Crown Series Winners:
- Sir Barton (1919) - This chestnut thoroughbred horse is the very first to ear the Triple Crown win with his jockey Johnny Loftus and great training by H. Guy Bedwell. Sir Barton lost all of his six starts as a 2-year-old. Nonetheless, the Kentucky Derby was his debut as a 3-year old. This colt was a maiden back then until he on the first leg. He too won the other two legs but after a few years, new 2-year-olds overshadowed him.
- Gallant Fox (1930) - It was until a few years after Sir Barton when a new winner is recognized. The sire of Sir Gallahad II, Gallant Fox, who won all three races in 29 days. He is one of the first prominent stallions from Europe imported to America. The first and only horse to sire another Triple Crown winner, Omaha.
- Omaha (1935) - A living pride of Gallahad is Gallant Fox’s son Omaha who won the title in the next 5 years after his sire. He is trained by the same person who is known as Sunny Jim. He lost the Withers after the second leg but took his chances at the dirt track of Belmont and the Triple Crown.
- War Admiral (1937) - It took only two years to reign a new winner as War Admiral, a pedigree under Sir Barton’s tough contender Man o’ War who grabbed the Triple Crown win even after getting injured at the starting line in Belmont Stakes.
- Whirlaway (1941) - After 4 years, Whirlaway trained by Ben Jones got the winning crown. He bragged about his wins from the Triple Crown sweep, Travers Stakes, Brooklyn Handicap and Jockey Gold Cup at his age of 3-4-years-old.
- Count Fleet (1943) - After two years, Count Fleet took the crown from Whirlaway from almost sold to another owner before he made it to the races. He had a winning 10 of 15 starts as a 2-year-old and he is an undefeated one a year after that and became the odds favorite in each Triple Crown races winning Belmont by 25 lengths.
- Assault (1946) - “Club-footed Comet” Assault, despite his malformed right front hoof, won the at the Kentucky Derby by 8 lengths. His disability was a result of an injury as a foal but only shows that despite his struggles, he to can and did become a champ of the triple race series.
- Citation (1948) - Known as the racing’s first millionaire, Citation faced five of the other thoroughbred colts running in the Kentucky Derby and 15 of them in all three Triple Crown races. He won eight of 9 starts as a 2-year-old rockstar and 19 victories from twenty starts.
- Secretariat (1973) - After 25 years of a quiet season, Secretariat became the Triple Crown winner and the Horse of The Year at 2-years-old and syndicated with a record of a six million as early in his sophomore season. The blue and white pole 31 lengths from the finish line at Belmont Park reminds the magnitude of his win.
- Seattle Slew (1977) - At 4-years-old he won 5 of 7 starts including his win with a fellow Triple Crown winner Affirmed in 1978 Marlboro Cup. He is actually the first and the remaining undefeated Triple Crown Winner until Justify joined him last year. He is a sire of more than a hundred other stake winning horses.
- Affirmed (1978) - It was a tough year for him in 1978 with his rival Alydar who is a second-place finisher in each race of the Triple Crown series. Despite his defeat against Affirmed that year, he was still crowned as the Horse of the Year and maintained such title on the next year with his great Grade 1 Stake Races wins.
- American Pharoah (2015) - The long 35 years wait for another Triple Crown winner ended when American Pharoah of Bob Baffert came in. Together with his jockey Victor Espinoza who won in 2002 and 2014, their efforts finally made its way to the top with his sweep in 2015. He is a very capable horse that definitely made him part of the lives of horse racing fans as this colt was named 2-year-old champ in 2014.
- Justify (2018) - Another win came by from Baffert’s training fence when the swift and crowd favorite Justify made its way to the Triple Crown win last year. He is the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2-year-old after Apollo in 1882. He is only the second winner to sweep all three races including the Derby at Santa Anita Park while undefeated. He is definitely a horse to watch in the coming series.
There is more to know about the story behind the Kentucky Derby which is why it made every horse fan and gamblers so interested to it. TVG Kentucky Information is available on their website for the information you need in preparation of the race day.