They’ve been running the three legs of the Triple Crown since 1875, with the Kentucky Derby actually the last of the three pinnacles of American thoroughbred racing to be inaugurated. And for the immortal horses in the sport, their three-year-old year is the chance to be etched in history.
There have been 13 winners of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. It’s an accomplishment not only to win three times over different distances against the best fields in the sport, but to also do it within a six-week window.
The Kentucky Derby is 10 furlongs on the first Saturday in May, the Preakness Stakes is 9.5 furlongs two weeks later, and the Belmont Stakes is a punishing 12 furlongs to finish the circuit three weeks following.
The Bob Baffert-trained Justify was the last winner of all three races in 2018. But doping allegations have followed Baffert his entire career, and that’s the case for the last Triple Crown winner as well. The horse was later found out to have tested positive for scopolamine after winning the Santa Anita Derby, a Road to the Kentucky Derby race. Justify ran six races in his career, including four Grade 1 stakes, and won every time before being retired to stud.
Here is the list of all 13 Triple Crown winners in the history of thoroughbred horse racing.
Sir Barton (1919)
Gallant Fox (1930)
War Admiral (1937)
Count Fleet (1943)
Seattle Slew (1977)
American Pharoah (2015)