The 11 Winners of Horse Racing’s Triple Crown

seattle slew triple crown 1977

American Pharaoh has taken the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby titles, so all that’s left to join the ranks of Triple Crown-winning horses is a win at the Belmont in New York. Should American Pharaoh be able to defeat the field there, he will join 11 other curiously named fellas in the annals of horseracing history.

However, knocking down the first two races doesn’t necessarily mean the Triple Crown is yours to lose. In fact, since the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed in 1978, 13 horses before American Pharaoh have entered the Belmont Stakes as a candidate to win the Triple Crown. And none have succeeded.

In horse-racing parlance, there’s a common phrase used about a horse “breaking too early.” It means that horse is fast out of the gate, but isn’t able to sustain that energy or speed later on in the race. That could serve as a metaphor for the bevy of horses which, after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, just don’t have enough left in their tank to train for and win the Belmont.

We’ll see if we’ve got another winner in American Pharaoh on Saturday, June 6th, or if the horse is just going to join the ranks of the also-rans that seem to be a dime a dozen when compared to the actual Triple Crown winners.


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