Triple Crown Winners

Honoring the 11 winners of the Triple Crown.

Eleven horses have won the Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Sir Barton - 1919

When Sir Barton won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes there was no connection between the three races. Later, he was recognized as the first Triple Crown winner.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Sir Barton's Preakness was 1 1/8 miles, and his Belmont was 1 3/8 miles. In the latter race, Sir Barton faced only 2 opponents.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

In his career, Sir Barton ran 31 times, with 13 wins, 6 seconds, 5 thirds, and earnings of $116,857.

Photo: Keeneland-cook Photo

Gallant Fox - 1930

In 1930, the Preakness was run before the Kentucky Derby, on May 9, and Gallant Fox took it by 3/4 lengths.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

He then won the Derby on May 17, and the Belmont Stakes on June 7.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Overall, Gallant Fox ran 17 times with 11 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds, and earnings of $328,165.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Omaha - 1935

From the first crop of Gallant Fox, Omaha won the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

The Preakness was a little easier, as Omaha romped by 6 lengths.

Photo: Miller Photographic Laboratories

On a sloppy track at Belmont, Omaha came home 1 1/2 lengths in front, becoming the first Triple Crown winner sired by a Triple Crown winner. Omaha raced 22 times in his career, winning 9 times, finishing 2nd 7 times, 3rd twice, and earning $154,705.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

War Admiral - 1937

Despite delaying the start of the Kentucky Derby by 8 minutes, War Admiral was an easy 1 3/4 length winner in the race.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

The Preakness was more of a test, with War Admiral winning by a head.

Photo: Morgan Photo Service

War Admiral stumbled at the start of the Belmont Stakes, and tore off a piece of his front hoof. Despite this, he won by 3 lengths, and set a new track record of 2:28 1/5, a fifth faster than his sire, Man o'War. War Admiral earned $273,240 in his career, running 26 times, with 21 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third.

Photo: NYRA

Whirlaway - 1941

Outfitted with a one-eyed blinker for the Derby, Whirlaway stayed on course and won easily.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

He won the Preakness by 5 1/2 lengths, despite being miles behind the others in the early stages.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

In the Belmont, heavily favored Whirlaway took command after a half, and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Whirlaway ran 60 times in his career, winning 32 times, finishing 2nd 15 times and 3rd 9 times, while earning $561,161.

Photo: NYRA

Count Fleet - 1943

Count Fleet went straight to the front in the Derby, and won by 3 lengths.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

In the Preakness a week later, he was even more impressive, winning by 8.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

He faced only 2 in the Belmont Stakes, and won by 25 dominating lengths. Count Fleet ran 21 times overall, winning 16 races, finishing 2nd 4 times, 3rd once, while earning $250,300.

Photo: NYRA

Assault - 1946

A foot injury as a foal led to his nickname of 'The Club-Footed Comet.' It didn't slow him down, however, as he won the Derby by 8 lengths.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

In the Preakness, he held on by just a neck over Lord Boswell.

Photo: Bert Morgan

Lord Boswell was favored in the Belmont, but could only manage a 5th-place finish, as Assault pulled away for a 3 length win. Assault ran 42 times in his career, recording 18 wins, 6 seconds, 7 thirds, and earnings of $675,470.

Photo: Bert Morgan

Citation - 1948

It was sloppy on Derby Day 1948, but Citation easily defeated entrymate Coaltown by 3 1/2 lengths.

Photo: Churchill Downs

The Preakness was a 5 1/2 length romp.

Photo: Bert Morgan

He stumbled at the start of the Belmont, but quickly recovered and dominated, coming home 8 lengths in front. Racing's first millionaire, Citation ran 45 times, with 32 wins, 10 seconds, 2 thirds, and earnings of $1,085,760.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Secretariat - 1973

It seemed like there would never be another Triple Crown winner, then along came Secretariat. He had finished third in his final Derby prep, the Wood Memorial, but he took the Roses by 2 1/2 lengths over Sham, stopping the time in an astonishing 1:59 2/5.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Secretariat again defeated Sham by 2 1/2 lengths in the Preakness. The official time was 1:54 2/5, but the time was changed to a stakes record of 1:53 in 2012.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Secretariat cemented his status as a legend with a 31 length win in the Belmont Stakes, establishing a record time of 2:24. In 21 starts, Secretariat won 16 races, was 2nd three times, and third once, while earning $1,316,808.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Seattle Slew - 1977

Seattle Slew entered the Kentucky Derby having led at ever call of his first 6 starts. But he broke sideways in the Derby, and was boxed early. He recovered, however, and won by 1 3/4 lengths.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

He was involved from the start of the Preakness, winning easily by 1 1/2 lengths.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Seattle Slew cruised in the Belmont, winning by 4 lengths to become the first undefeated Triple Crown winner. In 17 lifetime starts, he finished 1st 14 times, 2nd twice, and earned $1,208,726.

Photo: Blood-horse Library

Affirmed - 1978

Affirmed finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Alydar in the Kentucky Derby. It would be his largest margin of victory in the three races.

Photo: Kinetic Corporation

Alydar got in gear more quickly in the Preakness, and engaged Affirmed throughout the stretch. But, Affirmed again was the winner, this time by a neck.

Photo: Jerry Frutkoff

The first two races were just the opening act for the main event, the Belmont Stakes. This time, the pair battled for a mile, taking turns leading. At the wire, however, it was Affirmed by a head, as he became the 11th Triple Crown winner. In 29 starts, Affirmed had 22 wins, 5 seconds, 1 third, and earnings of $2,393,818.

Photo: Jerry Cooke Collection

Comments