- United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing is a series of three
Thoroughbred horse races for three-year-old horses run in May and early June of each year.
Kentucky Derby, run over 1 and 1/4 miles (2.01 km) at Churchill Downsin Louisville, Kentucky;
Preakness Stakes, run over 1 and 3/16 miles (1.91 km) at Pimlico Race Coursein Baltimore, Maryland;
Belmont Stakes, run over 1 and 1/2 miles (2.41 km) at Belmont Parkin Elmont, New York.
The Triple Crown starts with The Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May. The Preakness follows two weeks later. The Belmont Stakes is three weeks after The Preakness in early June. In the U.S., the term "Triple Crown" is the usual reference for these three horse races, a term shared with a hitter who leads his league in home runs, batting average, and runs batted in during a single Major League Baseball regular season.
Daily Racing Formwriter Charles Hatton is commonly credited with originating the term to reference these races in 1930, they were referred to by that name at least as early as 1923. [ [http://therail.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/24/origins-of-triple-crown/ Origins of Triple Crown - The Rail - Sports - New York Times Blog ] ]
In the more-than-100-year history of the U.S. events, only 11 horses have ever won the U.S. Triple Crown; none since 1978:
As of June 7, 2008, the current period of 30 years, since Affirmed won in 1978, is the longest drought between Triple Crown winning horses. Since 1978, eleven horses have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Of those,
Real Quiethas come the closest to winning the Triple Crown, losing the Belmont Stakes by a nose in 1998. Charismatic led the Belmont in the final furlongin 1999 but broke his left front leg in the final stretch and fell back to third. The four most recent to win the Kentucky Derby contest and the Preakness but lose the Belmont were War Emblemin 2002, Funny Cidein 2003, Smarty Jonesin 2004, and Big Brownin 2008. War Emblem tripped at the start of the Belmont, Funny Cide lost the Belmont in the slop to fresh horses, Smarty Jones lost by only a length, and Big Brown, who ran so well at the Derby and Preakness, seemed out of sorts at Belmont, finishing last. In addition, several horses have won two of the three races since the last Triple Crown win, most recently Afleet Alexin 2005, who lost the Kentucky Derby but won the Preakness and Belmont.
Only one horse,
Alydar, has placed (second place) in all three races. He was defeated by Affirmed in all three races in 1978 by a combined margin of two lengths. In addition, Mane Minister finished third in each race in 1991, and Hawkster finished fifth in each race in 1989.
2006 was the first time since 2000 that three different horses won the races:
Barbarowon the Kentucky Derby (but then suffered an eventually fatal injury during the Preakness), Bernardiniwon the Preakness, and Jazilwon the Belmont Stakes. It happened again in 2007, with Street Sense winning the Kentucky Derby, Curlin winning the Preakness and the filly Rags to Riches winning the Belmont. Rags to Riches is 2006 Belmont winner Jazil's half sister. Gallant Foxis the only triple crown winner to sire another triple crown winner, Omaha.
May 21, 2005, the VISA Credit Card company officially withdrew its sponsorship of the U.S. Triple Crown, effective in 2006.Fact|date=August 2007 It relieves VISA of paying the $5 million bonus to the owner of the horse that wins the Triple Crown. Triple Crown Productions has sponsored the races since 2006. The $5 million bonus remains intact.
SomeWho|date=January 2008 believe VISA withdrew its sponsorship as a result of the
New York Racing Association's decision to break with the other two tracks on a television contract. On October 4 2004, NYRA announced that the American Broadcasting Companyand ESPNwould hold television rights to the Belmont Stakes, breaking from Triple Crown Productions' deal with NBC SportsFact|date=August 2007. NBC Sports holds the broadcasting rights to the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes until 2010. Triple Crown Productions was formed in 1986 with ABC; prior to that, the individual racing associations made their own deals with the TV networks (ABC and CBS).
There also is a
Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racingin the United States, open to 3-year old fillies.
* [http://www.thetriplecrownchallenge.com/ The Triple Crown Challenge]
* [http://tcm.bloodhorse.com/index.asp/ BloodHorse.com Triple Crown Mania]
*"The Most Glorious Crown: The Story Of America's Triple Crown Thoroughbreds From Sir Barton To Affirmed" by Marvin Drager. (2005)
Triumph Books(ISBN 1-57243-724-3)
Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
Canadian Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
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