The Triple Crown Winners, Tracks and Trivia

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Triple Crown winners 2017

The Triple Crown is made up of three thoroughbred horse races – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Each race is open to three-year-old horses, and all three races must be won in a single year for a horse to be bestowed with the much-coveted title.

The name ‘Triple Crown’ was first used by Charles Hatton from the New York Times in 1930, following Gallant Fox’s win triple-race win. Previously, in 1919, Sir Barton had won the three races, but the name had not yet been coined. The last Triple Crown winner was in 2015, with American Pharoah winning all three races – the first time this had happened since 1978.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is the first race of the Triple Crown, and is held annually on the second Saturday of May at Churchill Downs race track, Kentucky. Known as the Run for the Roses, the prestigious race first took place in 1875, and is seen as a celebration of the American South, attracting celebrities and horse racing fans from around the world. The race is one and a quarter mile long and known as, ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports’. The winner of the 143rd Kentucky Derby in 2017 was Always Dreaming, with Lookin At Lee coming in at second place.

Preakness Stakes

Just a week after the Kentucky Derby, on the third Saturday of May, the Preakness Stakes takes place at the Pimlico race track, Maryland. The 2017 winner was Cloud Computing, with jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Chad Brown. Classic Empire came in moments after second place. The Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming, made a strong start but lost momentum, subsequently losing this year’s shot at the Triple Crown.

Belmont Stakes

Held at Belmont Park Race track, New York, this race is the third race of the Triple Crown, taking place in June. The record for the fastest time the race has been run in is held by Secretariat who completed the race in two minutes 24 seconds in 1973. The 159th Belmont Stakes took place on 10th June 2017. This one and a half mile race of champions was won by Tapwrit in 2017, followed closely by Irish War Cry. Starting the race out with 5-1 odds, Tapwrit overtook Irish War Cry at the end of the last furlong, putting a smile on the faces of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Jose Ortiz.

Triple Crown winners list

2015 – American Pharoah

1978 – Affirmed

1977 – Seattle Slew

1973 – Secretariat

1948 – Citation

1946 – Assault

1943 – Count Fleet

1941 – Whirlaway

1937 – War Admiral

1935 – Omaha

1930 – Gallant Fox

1919 – Sir Barton

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