Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

 

Affirmed, right, and Alydar

On Saturday, June 9, I’ll Have Another has a chance to become just the 12th horse within 137 years to win the Triple Crown. How does he stack up to the previous winners? Very well, considering his win in the G1 Santa Anita Derby.

Seven of the 11 Triple Crown winners went into the Belmont Stakes off of 3 consecutive major (G1) stakes wins, including the Kentucky Derby and Preakness: Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, War Admiral, Count Fleet, Assault, Seattle Slew and Affirmed.

Of 18 horses to win both the Kentucky and Preakness, but lose the Belmont, only 2 had 3 consecutive major wins going into the Belmont: Carry Back, in 1961, and Big Brown, in 2008.

Here is a breakdown of the Triple Crown winners:

1919
Sir Barton

Star Shoot (GB) x Lady Sterling, Hanover

  • Won the Derby (12 entries) wire-to-wire by 5 lengths.
  • Won the Preakness (12 entries), one week later, by 4 lengths.
  • Won the Belmont (3 entries) by 5 lengths.

Career: 31 starts, 13-6-5, $116,857

The first maiden to win the Kentucky Derby, Sir Barton raced once at two and was sent off as a rabbit in the Derby for favored stablemate Billy Kelly. Sire of just 7 stakes winners, he ended his stud career as a U.S. Army Remount stallion and died on a Wyoming ranch in 1937.

1930
Gallant Fox

Sir Gallahad (Fr) x Marguerite, Celt

  • Won the Preakness (11), held before the Derby that year, by three-quarters of a length.
  • Won the Kentucky Derby (15), one week later in a driving rain, by 2 lengths.
  • Won the Belmont (4) by 3 lengths.

Career: 17 starts, 11-3-2, $328,165

Gallant Fox was the only Triple Crown winner to sire another Triple Crown winner (Omaha in 1935), and also the youngest horse (at 5) to ever sire a Triple Crown winner.

1935
Omaha

Gallant Fox x Flambino, Wrack (GB)

  • Won the Derby (18) by 1 1/2 lengths.
  • Won the Preakness (8) by 6 lengths.
  • Won the Belmont (5) by 1 1/2 lengths, after losing the Withers, two weeks earlier, by 1 1/2 lengths.

Career: 22 starts, 9-7-2, $154,755

Omaha was only the fourth horse in history to win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Considered a failure as a sire, he spent his final years in Nebraska and after his death in 1959, he was buried at Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track near Omaha.

1937
War Admiral

Man O’War x Brushup, Sweep

  • Won the Derby (20) wire-to-wire by 1 3/4 lengths.
  • Won the Preakness (8) by a head over Derby runner-up Pompoon.
  • Won the Belmont (7) by 3 lengths.

Career: 26 starts, 21-3-1, $273,240

As a 4-year-old, War Admiral lost by 4 lengths to Seabiscuit in a match regarded by many as the greatest race of the 20th century.

1941
Whirlaway

Blenheim II (GB) x Dustwhirl, Sweep

  • Won the Derby (11) by 8 lengths, posting :24 in the final quarter.
  • Won the Preakness (8) by 5 1/2 lengths.
  • Won the Belmont (4) by 2 1/2 lengths, galloping home, in 2:28 3/5, a new American record for 1 1/2 miles.

Career: 60 starts, 32-15-9, $561,161

Temperamental and headstrong, Whirlaway had a habit of boring out on the turn into the stretch, which his trainer remedied by fitting him with a hood built with one blinker, on his off side.

1943
Count Fleet

Reigh Count x Quickly, Haste

  • Won the Derby (10) by 3 lengths.
  • Won the Preakness (4) by 8 lengths.
  • Won the Belmont (3) by 25 lengths.

Career: 21 starts, 16-4-1, $250,300

Count Fleet was the only 3-year-old to win all five spring specials – the Wood Memorial; Kentucky Derby; Preakness; Withers and Belmont. As the result an injury caused when he struck himself on his left fore ankle during the Belmont, he never raced again. He is ranked No. 5 on The Blood-Horse list of “Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century,”

1946
Assault

Bold Venture x Igual, Equipoise

  • Won the Derby (17) by 8 lengths, at odds of 8-1.
  • Won the Preakness, in a field of 10, one week later, barely by a neck over Lord Boswell.
  • Won the Belmont, 4 weeks later, by 3 lengths, in a field of 7.

Career: 42 starts, 18-6-7, $675,470

Foaled in Texas on the King Ranch, Assault was the first non-Kentucky-bred to win the Triple Crown. As the result of an early injury to his right forefoot, he had a malformed hoof and was dubbed “the Clubfooted Comet,” by the press. Although he lived until 1971, he was virtually sterile and left no Thoroughbred offspring.

1948
Citation

Bull Lea x Hydroplane II (GB), Hyperion

  • Won the Derby (6) by 3 1/2 lengths over his stablemate Coaltown, who was runner-up.
  • Won the Preakness (4) by 5 1/2 lengths.
  • Won the Belmont (8) by 8 lengths.

Career: 45 starts, 32-10-2, $1,085,760

Citation became the first millionaire in racing history. He is ranked No. 3 on The Blood-Horse list of “Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century,” with Man O’War and Secretariat ranked first and second.

1973
Secretariat

Bold Ruler x Somethingroyal, Princequillo

  • Won the Derby (13) by 2 1/2 lengths in a record 1:59 3/5, running the last quarter in 0:23 3/5, breaking Whirlaway’s record of 0:24.
  • Won the Preakness (6) by 2 1/2 lengths; Sham and Our Native finished second and third, just as they had in the Derby.
  • Won the Belmont (5) by 31 lengths in 2:24, breaking the world record for 12 furlongs by 2 2/5 seconds.

Career: 21 starts, 16-3-1, $1,316,808

Secretariat is ranked No. 2 on The Blood-Horse list of “Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century,” where Man O’War is No. 1. Secretariat was also ranked among the century’s 10 most influential athletes by Time.

1977
Seattle Slew

Bold Reasoning x My Charmer, Poker

  • Won the Derby (16) by 1 3/4 lengths.
  • Won the Preakness (9) by 1 1/2 lengths.
  • Won the Belmont (8) wire-to-wire by 4 lengths.

Career: 17 starts, 14-2-0, $1,208,726

Seattle Slew was the only horse to win the Triple Crown while undefeated, and the only one to defeat another Triple Crown winner (Affirmed) in the 1978 Marlboro Cup. He is ranked No. 9 on The Blood-Horse list of “Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century,”

1978
Affirmed

Exclusive Native x Won’t Tell You, Crafty Admiral

  • Won the Derby (11) by 1 1/2 lengths over his 1977 arch rival Alydar.
  • Won the Preakness (7) by a neck over Alydar.
  • Won the Belmont (5) wire-to-wire by a head over Alydar.

Career: 29 starts, 22-5-1, $2,393,818

Named Horse of the Year in 1977, 1978 and 1979, Affirmed was racing’s youngest millionaire and its first $2 million earner. The competition between Affirmed and Alydar is regarded as the greatest rivalry in the history of racing. He is ranked No. 12 on The Blood-Horse list of “Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century.”