History of the Triple Crown Winners

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Today I’m taking $6.00 & going to try to win a bit
of money gambling on the Preakness –

Geoff’s placing the bets for me when he goes down to
see the race later today


Haven’t followed horseracing since I was a girl in
high school after watching on TV & seeing Secretariat win back in 73;

 I like many other teenage girls who read Black Beauty
& the Black Stallion series was in love with horses


I didn’t know what to do for
picking a longsho
t to try to make the most of my little
$6.00 –

back in JR & SR High I use to be able to list off who
was related to who & could pick a winner but I’ve no
t thought in
those terms since then


So my 3 picks for today each $2.00 to show / place are:

 Like Now who’s 12:1 – this horse I liked
the numbers on; lots of top 3 spots for the number of races run

 Diabolical who’s 30:1 – this horse is simply
due to me liking the fac
t that he’s an
offspring of Seattle Slew

& Platinum Couple who’s 50:1 – this is pure
heart story his pregnant daughter is going to the race & will name her
twins depending upon the outcome of the race – also the number of races
run & placed were pretty good for this horse compared to a few others &
I liked the fac
t the owner & trainer are feeling
t that on dry track he’ll do
better than the oddmakers are stating they spoke more positive abou
t their own horse
as opposed to the favorite horse – I like that kind of confidence


I seriously doubt that any of them will
win but I don’
t think that the top horse is
as great as they’re making out

 well the stories of the 3 I picked are kind of fun
& have more to do with how I feel rather than truly horse racing knowledge

I figure the $6.00 is simply gone like spending it on a
movie ticket,

 but if any of the 3 actually pay out it’ll be
kind of interesting & fun time so we’ll ge
t to go out to dinner with
the winnings

so I’ll know this evening if we’ll get to go out for
steak & shrimp later on this week



www.preakness.com – History

Triple Crown Winners

       It is no longer necessary to
prove tha
t the Triple Crown is the most elusive
prize in sports. It has been 27 years since Affirmed, the latest of eleven
Thoroughbreds in history, achieved the prestigious feat in 1978. There have
been bu
t three Triple Crown winners since
Citation in 1948.

      There was one spell, a quarter of
a century, from Citation in 1948 until 1973, that brough
t talk of tinkering with the scheduling or devising
some sort of relief to make the Triple Crown more accessible because it
seemed it would never again be won. Then Secretariat came along and romped
through the
Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 1973.

      When Funny Cide lost the potential Triple Crown at the 2003 Belmont Stakes, a new time elapsed record
was set. Six times in the last eight years a horse has gone to
New York with a chance at a $5 million dollar bonus only to
falter in the "Test of a Champion".

       The intriguing series of spring
races is over 125 years old
with the prize becoming available
in 1875, with the first running of the Kentucky Derby, the last of the Triple
Crown events to be introduced. The Preakness dates back to 1873, while the
Belmont Stakes began in 1867.


Johnny Loftus, rider

Sir Barton
First Triple Crown Winner, 1919
Chestnut colt, 1916 by *Star Shoot—Lady Sterling, by
J. K. L. Ross, Owner
Madden and Gooch, Breeder
M. G. Bedwell, Trainer
A Genuine Iron Horse

Barton, a foal of 1916 bred by Preston Madden, was born too soon. He was
never hailed as a Triple Crown winner because the feat had not been named
when he swep
t the Derby,
Preakness and
Belmont Stakes in 1919. “Triple
Crown” began appearing in print about 1936, far too late for Sir

      Commander J. K. L. Ross, who
owned a farm in
Maryland where the former Freestate harness
track was located, purchased Sir Barton for $10,000 as a 2-year-old at
Saratoga. Ross had an outstanding 3-year-old prospect in
1919 — Billy Kelly — but Sir Barton, his stablemate, who had
never won a race, was started in the
Derby as part of the Ross entry.

      Sir Barton broke on top in the Derby and never looked back. Perhaps more amazing, Sir
Barton was immediately shipped to Pimlico because that year the
Maryland classic was run on Wednesday, just four days after
Derby. Once again the unheralded Sir Barton
galloped home by four lengths in a display of stamina. In the
Belmont, he set an American record of 2:17 2/5 for the mile and three-eighths, the distance

Gallant Fox
Second Triple Crown Winner, 1930

Bay colt, 1927 by
*Sir Gallahad III—Marguerite, by Celt
Belair Stud, Owner-Breeder
James Fitzsimmons, Trainer
Fox of Belair

Earle Sande, rider

Fox was bred and raced by William Woodward.

      The son of Sir Gallahad III had a
medicore 2-year-old season winning bu
t two stakes. It was hardly an indication of his
3-yearold superiority. After capturing the Wood Memorial, Gallant Fox swep
t the Preakness, Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in
that order. He is the only Triple Crown winner to win the Preakness week
before the

      Later as a 3-year-old he captured
the Dwyer Stakes, Arlington Classic, Saratoga Cup, Lawrence Realization and
the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The “Fox of Belair” was retired for
breeding after his 3-year-old campaign, which netted $308,275, a single
season record then.

      Gallant Fox sired the winners of
more than ninety races
before his death in 1954 a
t the age
of 27. His most famous son
Omaha, the 1935 Triple Crown winner. Omaha enabled him
to become the only Triple Crown winner to sire a victor in the
Derby, Preakness, Belmont series.

Third Triple Crown Winner, 1935

Chestnut colt, 1932, by Gallant Fox—Flambino, by *Wrack
Belair Stud, Owner-Breeder
James Fitzsimmons, Trainer
Like Father, Like Son

Willie Saunders, rider                                   Bert Morgan Photo

      Omaha was born in Kentucky in 1932, just two years after
his sire, Gallant Fox, had won the Triple Crown. As a weanling, he was sen
t to Belair in Maryland where he was broken as a yearling and turned over
to trainer Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons.

      The William Woodward owned and
bred colt, like his sire,
was not overly impressive a
t two but
improved with age. After
a third in the Wood Memorial, he set sail for the Triple Crown.
Nellie Flag, a filly, was favored in the
Derby but Omaha rallied and won by a length and a half. The
Preakness was more of a romp as he won by six lengths. He became the third
Triple Crown winner with a length and a half victory in the

      Omaha is the only Triple Crown winner to race abroad.
Woodward sent him to
England at four. After taking two secondary
Omaha just missed winning the Ascot Gold


Charles Kurtsinger, rider                                      C. C. Cook Photo

War Admiral
Fourth Triple Crown Winner, 1937

Brown colt, 1934, by Man o’ War—Brushup, by Sweep
Glen Riddle Farm, Owner
S. D. Riddle, Breeder
George Conway, Trainer
Little Admiral

      War Admiral was a smaller copy of
his illustrious sire, Man
War. Although he stood only 15.2 hands, War Admiral was Man
War’s best offspring. Owned and bred by Sam Riddle, who
Man O’ War, War Admiral reached his peak as a 3-year-old
so-so 2-year-old season.

      At three, War Admiral, who prepped in Maryland for the
Crown, recorded a perfect eight-for-eight year.

      In the Derby, War Admiral led from flag to finish, but
Preakness produced one of the most memorable battles in
Crown history. Pompoon and War Admiral ran head-to-head
the top of the stretch. A
t the
wire, it was War Admiral by a head.

      The Belmont Stakes proved to be
War Admiral’s easiest victory in the Triple Crown despite his stumbling
t the start.
fall of 1937, War Admiral won the first Pimlico Special and
named Horse of the Year.

      In all, War Admiral won 21 of 26
starts and finished out
money only one time.


Eddie Arcaro, rider                       Bert Morgan Photo

Fifth Triple Crown Winner, 1941

Chestnut colt, 1938, by *Blenheim
II—Dustwhirl, by Sweep
Calumet Farm, Owner-Breeder
B. A. Jones, Trainer
Calumet Star In ’41

      Once Trainer Ben Jones solved
Whirlaway’s bewildering habit
of running extremely wide on the turns, there was no stopping
Calumet colt sired by Blenheim II. Jones
devised a special
blinker for the chestnut colt just in time for the 1941

      With Eddie Arcaro riding,
Whirlaway made a dramatic stretch
run at Churchill Downs to set a new time record as he ran the
mile and a quarter in 2.01 2/5 and won by eight lengths.

      A week later, Whirlaway again
came from far back to
roll home in the Preakness by five and a half lengths. Arcaro
described his Preakness experience like “riding a tornado.” Only
two challenged him in the
and Whirlaway won racing’s
fifth Triple Crown and was the first of four in the 1940’s.

      Whirlaway, who won five other
stakes in addition to the
Triple Crown in 1941, was named Horse of the Year. He repeated
for the title the following season when he accounted for eleven
stakes. Whirlaway was retired at five after he pulled up lame after
his second race in 1943. In all, he made 60 starts, won 32 races
and was out of the money only four times.

Count Fleet
Sixth Triple Crown Winner, 1943

Brown colt, 1940, by Reigh Count—Quickly, by Haste
Mrs. John D. Hertz, Breeder-Owner
D. J. Cameron, Trainer
Speed to Spare

Johnny Longden, rider                                 Bert Clark Thayer Photo

      Count Fleet shot like a meteor
across the racing stage when World War II was raging in 1942 and 1943. After
winning ten of fifteen starts as a 2-year-old, he was all but conceded the
Triple Crown after being complimented with 132 pounds in the Experimental
Handicap ratings.

       A son of Reigh Count, the 1928 Derby winner, and foaled by Quickly by Haste, Count Fleet
carried the colors of Mrs. John D. Hertz, wife of the
Chicago taxicab executive. A striking brown colt, Count Fleet
was hailed as a successor to Man O’ War by some after his perfect six
for six 3-year-old season.

       The war-time ban on racing in Florida forced Count Fleet to train at Oaklawn Park in
preparation for his 3-year-old campaign. In the Triple Crown, Count Fleet,
with Johnny Longden riding, found little opposition. He galloped in the
Derby, captured the Preakness with only three challengers
by eight lengths, and then, after taking the Withers, annexed the Triple
Crown with a 25-length triumph in the Belmont Stakes.

Seventh Triple Crown Winner, 1946

Chestnut colt, 1943, by Bold Venture—Igual, by Equipoise
King Ranch, Owner-Breeder
M. Hirsch, Trainer
Surprise in 1946


Warren Mehrtens, rider                                        Bert Morgan Photo

      Assault, the seventh Triple Crown
winner, overcame long
odds against his feet in 1946.

       To start with, his dam, Iqual,
sired by Equipoise, never raced. She was sickly as a foal and never recovered
sufficiently to stand the rigors of training. Her firs
t two foals were not notable. Her third, Assault, sired
by Bold Venture, the 1936
winner, had the misfortune to step on a surveyor’s stake a
t the King Ranch in Texas where he was born.

       The hoof healed but Assault had
a tendency to favor the foot, making it appear that he was crippled. His
trainer, Max Hirsch, at firs
t thought the colt would not train because of his crooked foot.  Assault was not
impressive a
t two, winning only two races. Even 
after taking the Experimental Handicap and Wood Memorial a
t three, he went off at 8–1 odds in the Derby.

       Favored in the Preakness,
Assault won by a neck, after holding a four length advantage with an eighth
mile to go. Then jockey Warren Mehrtens changed his tactics in the
Belmont, reserving the colt and charging from behind to win
by three lengths.

Eddie Arcaro,
NYRA Photo

Eighth Triple Crown Winner, 1948

Bay colt, 1945, by
Bull Lea—*Hydroplane II, by Hyperion
Calumet Farm, Breeder-Owner
H. A. Jones, Trainer
Racing’s First Millionaire

       Citation, from Calumet Farm,
capped the glorious ’40’s
decade — the most glamorous in Triple Crown lore as four horses
attained sport’s most elusive prize.

       There is little argument that the bay
colt by Bull Lea —
Hydroplane II by Hyperion, was the greatest horse of the ’40’s.
Some observers believe he was the most accomplished horse
ever to race, even superior to Man O’ War. This debate probably
will never be settled. Certainly he is on everyone’s list of top
Thoroughbreds in history.

       Big Cy, although bred in Kentucky by Warren Wright, made
his debut in
Maryland, winning his first start at Havre de
Grace in
1947. Later that year he captured the Pimlico Futurity on his way
to an 8 for 9 year a

       As a 3-year-old, Citation went
19 for 20. His only loss occurred
at Havre de Grace in a sprint race he should not have lost. He
was carried wide by a tiring horse and finished second to Saggy
in the
Chesapeake Trial.

       The Triple Crown was hardly a
challenge for Citation.
His only real opposition in the
Derby came from his stablemate
Coaltown. Only three horses challenged him in the
Preakness and the Belmont was also easily accomplished.

Ron Turcotte, rider       
              Maryland Jockey Club Photo

Ninth Triple Crown Winner, 1973

Chestnut colt,
1970, by Bold Ruler—Somethingroyal, by *Princequillo
Meadow Stable, Breeder-Owner
Lucien Laurin, Trainer
After 25 Years—Secretariat

      Secretariat, often described as the
perfect horse in appearance
with his resplendent chestnut coat, might have been horse
racing’s greatest ambassador of the 20th century. The massive
Virginia-bred colt from the Meadow Stable of Helen “Penny”
Chenery, made a shambles of the Triple Crown in 1973.

       Before he was nominated for the
Triple Crown, Secretariat
recorded a first — the first 2-year-old ever to be voted Horse of
the Year. The son of Bold Ruler-Somethingroyal was a full-fledged
celebrity well in advance of his Triple Crown heroics, having
been syndicated for a then record $6,080,000 early in his 3-yearold

       In the Kentucky Derby, he set a
record for the mile and a
quarter, running the distance in 1.59-2/5. In a powerful move
from last on the clubhouse turn, Secretariat captured the
Preakness with ease. In the Belmont Stakes, Secretariat put on an
awesome show, winning by 31 lengths to gain the Triple Crown,
a prize which had gone unclaimed for a quarter of a century.

Seattle Slew
Tenth Triple Crown Winner, 1977

Dark brown colt,
1974, by Bold Reasoning—My Charmer, by Poker
Mrs. Karen Taylor, Owner
Ben S. Castleman, Breeder
William H. Turner, Trainer
Bargain Buy

Jean Cruguet, rider       
              Maryland Jockey Club Photo

       Seattle Slew holds an unique
Triple Crown record.

       The grandson of Bold Ruler is the
only Thoroughbred in history to capture the Triple Crown with an unbeaten
record. After the Triple Crown, Seattle Slew lost only three of seventeen
career starts on his way to total earnings of $1,208,727.

       Bred in Kentucky by Ben S. Castleman, Seattle Slew was purchased at the bargain price of $17,500 at a Kentucky yearling auction by Mickey Taylor for his wife
Karen, in whose silks the son of Bold Reasoning raced.

       Veterinarian Dr. James Hill and
his wife Sally shared ownership of Seattle Slew. It was Hill who had
recommended the purchase of the colt. Seattle Slew was named the 2-year-old
champion in 1976 and Horse of the Year as well as the top 3-year-old in 1977.
William H. “Billy” Turner, Jr., a former steeplechase rider from
Monkton, Md. was only 37 when he trained Seattle Slew to his 2- and
3-year-old championships.

       Seattle Slew was retired for
breeding in 1979 after being syndicated for $12 million.

Eleventh Triple Crown Winner, 1978

Chestnut colt, 1975,
by Exclusive Native—Won’t Tell You,
by Crafty Admiral
Harbor View Farm, Owner-Breeder
Lazaro S. Barrera, Trainer
Toughest Triple Crown

Steve Cauthen,
Maryland Jockey Club Photo

       Affirmed became the last Triple
Crown winner in 1978 and it was not easy. Affirmed’s combined margin of
victory in the Triple Crown was less than two lengths — 11/2 lengths in
Derby, a neck in the Preakness and a head in
Belmont. Amazingly, each time it was Alydar,
battling him to the wire. The Florida-bred colt — the first from that
state to win the Triple Crown — raced for the Harbor View Farm of Mr.
and Mrs. Louis Wolfson.

       Affirmed won 22 of his 29 career
starts, earning $2,393,818.
The chestnut son of Exclusive Native, was named Horse of the
Year twice as well as 3-year-old champion in 1978. As a 4-year-old he
captured seven stakes and beat out Spectacular Bid for Horse of the Year
honors. After his 4-year-old campaign he was retired to Spendthrift Farm and
syndicated for $14.4 million.


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