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The Triple Crown, as it relates to horse racing, is the pinnacle achievement that every thoroughbred strives for, and consists of three specific races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes; with each of the individual races said to be a "jewel in the crown." Since 1919 when Sir Barton won the very first Triple Crown, there have only been twelve other horses to accomplish the feat and the last winner, Justify, was crowned in 2018.

The Triple Crown is considered to be one of the most difficult triumphs to attain in all of sports. The complexity can be attributed to the grueling schedule of having to partake in three races within five weeks, each of which are at longer distances than the three-year-olds have previously run throughout their careers. The Belmont Stakes is extremely punishing as most thoroughbreds never run such a long distance (1 1/2 miles).

Since 1997, there were nine horses that won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but lost (or did not run) in the Belmont Stakes. California Chrome was the latest horse to miss the Triple Crown when he ran fourth in the Belmont in 2014. American Pharaoh broke the 36 year drought when he won the Belmont Stakes on June 6th, 2015 and became the 12th Triple Crown winner. Since then, Justify has been the latest Triple Crown winner on June 9th, 2018.

Triple Crown Winners
Year Horse Trainer Jockey
1919 Sir Barton H. G. Bedwell John Loftus
1930 Gallant Fox James Fitzsimmons Earl Sande
1935 Omaha James Fitzsimmons William Saunders
1937 War Admiral George Conway Charley Kurtsinger
1941 Whirlaway Ben A. Jones Eddie Arcaro
1943 Count Fleet Don Cameron John Longden
1946 Assault Max Hirsch Warren Mehrtens
1948 Citation Ben A. Jones Eddie Arcaro
1973 Secretariat Lucien Laurin Ron Turcotte
1977 Seattle Slew William Turner, Jr. Jean Cruguet
1978 Affirmed Lazaro S. Barrera Steve Cauthen
2015 American Pharoah Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza
2018 Justify Bob Baffert Mike Smith

There have been 45 horses who won two of the three Triple Crown races. There have been 23 horses who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but did not complete the Triple Crown. These horses are listed below:

Triple Crown Near Misses (Did Not Win Belmont Stakes)
Year Horse Belmont Finish Belmont Winner
1932 Burgoo King Did not start Faireno
1936 Bold Venture Did not start Granville
1944 Pensive 2nd Bounding Home
1958 Tim Tam 2nd Cavan
1961 Carry Back 7th Sherluck
1964 Northern Dancer 3rd Quadrangle
1966 Kauai King 4th Amberoid
1968 Forward Pass 2nd Stage Door Johnny
1969 Majestic Prince 2nd Arts and Letters
1971 Canonero II 4th Pass Catcher
1979 Spectacular Bid 3rd Coastal
1981 Pleasant Colony 3rd Summing
1987 Alysheba 4th Bet Twice
1989 Sunday Silence 2nd Easy Goer
1997 Silver Charm 2nd Touch Gold
1998 Real Quiet 2nd Victory Gallop
1999 Charismatic 3rd Lemon Drop Kid
2002 War Emblem 8th Sarava
2003 Funny Cide 3rd Empire Maker
2004 Smarty Jones 2nd Birdstone
2008 Big Brown 9th Da'Tara
2012 I'll Have Another Scratched Union Rags
2014 California Chrome 4th Tonalist



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