The Triple Crown series is one of the most prestigious and anticipated annual sporting events in the world. Each year, three-year-old thoroughbreds race in three succeeding races to earn the Triple Crown trophy. It’s an amazing feat that only a handful of horses have achieved since its inception in 1950. Here are five interesting facts about the Triple Crown series that fans, bettors, and the audience should know.
1. Kentucky Derby Is Dubbed “The Run for the Roses”
The first leg of the Triple Crown series is also called “The Run for the Roses”. This is because a blanket of 554 red roses is awarded to the winner of the Kentucky Derby annually. This tradition began in 1883 when E. Berry Wall, a New York City socialite, presented roses to the ladies at a post-Derby party. The roses symbolize the crown and the struggles and will needed to reach the winners’ circle.
2. Only 13 Thoroughbred Horses Won the Triple Crown
Winning the Triple Crown series is no easy feat. It’s a challenge for the thoroughbreds to race for a distance of 12 furlongs or 1 1/2 miles. Since its inception, only 13 horses have ever won the Triple Crown series. They are Sir Barton (1919), War Admiral (1837), Citation (1948), Justify (2018), Whirlaway (1941), Affirmed (1978), Assault (1946), Seattle Slew (1977), Omaha (1935), American Pharaoh (2015), Gallant Fox (1930), Secretariat (1973), and Count Fleet (1943).
3. The Three Races Was Inaugurated in Varying Years
Belmont Stakes is the oldest race and the third leg in the Triple Crown. It was inaugurated by August Belmont Sr. on June 19, 1867, at the Jerome Park Racetrack. The second race to get inaugurated was the Preakness Stakes in 1873 at Pimlico, while the last race to be inaugurated was the Triple Crown’s first leg, the Kentucky Derby, on May 17, 1875.
4. The Triple Crown Was Introduced in 1950
The three races have a long and rich history. However, it was only in 1950 when the Triple Crown was formally proclaimed at the annual awards dinner of the Thoroughbred Racing Association. This proclamation led to the commissioning of the Triple Crown trophy, which was awarded to the previous winners, including Sir Barton, the first winner of the Triple Crown series.
5. The Longest Gap between Triple Crown Winners Was 35 Years
Thoroughbred Affirmed won all three races of the Triple Crown in 1978. After his crowning, there was a drought in Triple Crown history as not one horse won for 35 years. It was the longest drought ever, and it began in the following year, 1979, when Spectacular Bid failed his attempt at the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. The drought ended in 2015 when American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown.
It’s amazing to know the history of the Triple Crown series. If you’re a fan or bettor, you can use this knowledge to your advantage in the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2023. Research information about the contenders and how you can secure your win and get ready for the Triple Crown series.