To win the Triple Crown is considered the highest honor in American horse racing. To win the title, a thoroughbred horse must win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes in a single year.
Here is what you need to know about the Triple Crown:
1. Only 11 Horses Have Won the Triple Crown
Since the beginning of the Triple Crown races, only 11 horses have won the honor. Sir Barton in 1919, Gallant Fox in 1930, Omaha in 1935, War Admiral in 1937, Whirlaway in 1941, Count Fleet in 1943, Assault in 1946, Citation in 1948, Secretariat in 1973, Seattle Slew in 1977, and Affirmed in 1978.
2. 21 Horses Have One the First Two Races, But Lost the Third
Although winning the honor is rare, many many horses have come close over the passed 100 years. Between 1932 and 2012, 21 horses have won the first two races, only to loose or be able to compete in the Belmont Stakes, the final of the three races. The most recent “near miss” was I’ll Have Another in 2012, who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but could not race in the Belmont Stakes due to injury.
3. The Last Winner Was in 1978
The Triple Crown hasn’t been won in 36 years. The last time it was won by Affirmed in 1978. He was born in 1975 and won 19 major races in his career, including all 3 of the Triple Crown races.
4. California Chrome Could Win
This year, horse racing fans are hopeful California Chrome will break the 36-year lull in Triple Crown winners. California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and is the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes.
You can read more about him here.
5. The 2014 Belmont Stakes Runs Saturday at 4:30
The Belmont Stakes have been run since 1867, and on Saturday June 7, the historic tradition continues. The race will begin at 4:30 p.m. EST, with pre-race coverage beginning at 2:30.
Learn more about how to watch the race below: