This past Friday, sports fans everywhere (and probably more than a few gambling addicts) had their hearts broken when it was announced that I’ll Have Another—winner of the both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness—would not be going for American horse racing’s Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. The champion horse had a nagging tendon injury, and his trainers and owner didn’t want to risk a life-threatening injury by racing him anyway. (Remember, a Derby champ is worth millions in stud fees. And, yeah, sure, they probably care about him, too.) This means that the historic Triple Crown drought would go on for at least one more year.
The last horse to win the Triple Crown? That was Affirmed in 1978. And the funny thing is, at the time, the hype of the Triple Crown had really settled down. Secretariat ended a 25-year TC drought in 1973, but then Seattle Slew won it again in 1977, followed by Affirmed the very next year.
Now, however, it’s been 34 years since the last Triple Crown winner, which is the longest Triple Crown drought ever.
However, there have been some other close calls over the last 34 years—11 to be precise—with a few horses missing the Triple Crown by just a nose. And it’s these 11 close calls are the subject of today’s list. So let’s get started.