Iconic Horses in the History of Triple Crown

Triple Crown

American Pharoah capped off his career with a Triple Crown and a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Photo credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.)

A three-year-old Thoroughbred horse that wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in the United States will earn the Triple Crown title of thoroughbred racing. The three races began in separate years, with the Kentucky Derby being the most recent in 1875.

The list of previous winners is long and includes champions from different ages of racing. The triple crown event features a different set of competitors each year. The thoroughbreds that registered for this event are rated as tough and skilled, while the champions of every year’s run are considered heroes in horse racing history.

Secretariat (1973)

Apparently, many would agree that Secretariat’s success in Belmont Stakes is regarded as one of the most impressive horse racing performances.

Almost every horse racing fan knows about it. Secretariat’s victory was even told through a movie. When he appeared, there had been no Triple Crown winners in 25 years. Secretariat was rated as an average contender of the Triple Crown season, yet he dominated the race at the end.

Citation (1948)

Citation won eight of the nine races he ran as a two-year-old. He ran to an eight-length victory in the Belmont after winning the Kentucky Derby by 3.5 lengths, the Preakness by 5.5 lengths.

There is no doubt that his 3-year-old run was the best sophomore career in racing history. In 1948, Citation won 19 of the 20 races he qualified for. During his record-setting 16-race winning streak, he effortlessly won the Triple Crown. At that time, he won races ranging in the distance from 6 to 16 furlongs (two miles).

Count Fleet (1943)

Count Fleet won all three races in the Triple Crown series. He won the Kentucky Derby by three lengths, the Preakness by eight lengths, and the Belmont Stakes by a whopping 25 lengths.

He set the record for the fastest mile ever run by a two-year-old Thoroughbred when he won the Belmont Stakes by 25 lengths. During his Triple Crown season, he also teamed up with Sir Barton to win the Withers Stakes while he was running as the Triple Crown.

Count Fleet didn’t race again after the Belmont because of an ankle injury. Nevertheless, he was one of the greatest in history.

American Pharoah (2015)

American Pharoah was declared as the 2015 Horse of the Year and two-year-old champion. He retired to stud after a brief but prolific career.

From the No. 5 post spot, he was sent off as the 3–5 favorite in a field of eight. The colt broke late as the gates swung open, paused for a brief moment before launching himself into the lead. American Pharoah led the Belmont Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths in 2:26.65, the sixth-best lap in Belmont history.

Whirlaway (1941)

Whirlaway won the Kentucky Derby by eight miles, and he also took the Preakness and Belmont Stakes by significant margins. For his Triple Crown victories, he was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Arcaro.

Whirlaway ran 60 times and won 32 of them, making him the most heavily raced Triple Crown winner. Whirlaway raced well even after winning the Triple Crown. He entered races 60 times and won 32 of them. Throughout his career, he gained more than $561,000 dollars.

Affirmed (1978)

His rivalry with Alydar is almost as well-known as his Triple Crown victory. Both horses gave a good fight, with Affirmed dominating the Triple Crown every time.

Affirmed led the Kentucky Derby by 1.5 lengths, but he only won by a neck in the Preakness. The Belmont Stakes was the most thrilling of all the races. As they raced down the long Belmont Park stretch, it appeared that Affirmed and Alydar were in a competitive run.

Affirmed went on to dominate after his Triple Crown year. In his career, he won 22 races and earned nearly $2.4 million.

Gallant Fox (1930)

The word “Triple Crown” is credited to Gallant Fox since it was first used by Charles Hatton of the Daily Racing Form after his three victories.

The Preakness was Gallant Fox’s first Triple Crown victory, followed by a win in the Kentucky Derby after just a seven-day break and a win at Belmont to complete the series.

He won the Derby by 3/4 of a length. At Belmont, he was up against the two-year-old champion Whichone and Questionnaire, who were both favored over Gallant Fox.

Gallant Fox won 11 races in his career, came in second three times, and finished third twice. During his reign, he earned more than $328,000.

Assault (1946)

As a two-year-old, Assault won twice in nine starts, earning the nickname. He earned the name “The Club-Footed Comet” after his right front foot got disfigured after walking on a sharp object when he was very young.

At full gallop, his stride was said to be as great as any racehorse could ask for, although he was limping.

Assault beat early leader Spy Song, then swung to win by eight lengths, matching Whirlaway’s record for the largest winning margin in Derby history. He was the betting favorite in the Preakness, where he faced Lord Boswell and eight other horses. Assault finished strong in the Belmont, catching Natchez in the stretch and winning by three lengths. If you would like to bet on horse racing, you have the best horse racing picks today on tvg.

Final Thoughts

The Triple Crown Series produces the most incredible horse racing moments for fans. At the same time, it launches the finest thoroughbreds in the history of horse racing.

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

DRF Past Performances

Check out the most powerful
interactive Past Performances
used by Michael Dempsey. Use the code TENOFF19 which gives
you a 10% discount on any DRF Formulator plan that is one month or longer.


Free Horse Racing Picks

Get free horse racing picks each day from expert race handicapper Michael Dempsey Click Here

Belmont Stakes News & Reports
Breeders' Cup
Turf ‘n’ Sport handicapper Michael Dempsey has the Belmont Stakes covered with his selections, analysis and fair odds for every race on the card!
Wager on the Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes News

Belmont Stakes Reports

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Horse Racing Betting Tips
Turf 'n' Sport handicappers give out basic horse racing handicapping information..