The Triple Crown of U.S. Thoroughbred racing is a prize given to a horse that wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes in the same year.
What Are The Races In The Triple CrownBig Brown was the winner of the 134rd Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008 in a time of 2:01.82. The three-year-old surged to victory in one of the most remarkable performances in Kentucky Derby history.
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Big Brown charged to the lead turning for home and then cruised down the stretch to win the Preakness on Saturday, still perfect and squarely pointed toward thoroughbred racing's first Triple Crown in 30 years.
Just as he did two weeks ago in a Kentucky Derby, marred by the breakdown of Eight Belles, the colt named for UPS delivered another stunning win, this time by [email protected]/4 lengths. Macho Again was second and Icabad Crane was third.
The Belmont Stakes will be run June 7. It's been three decades since Affirmed swept that race along with the Derby and Preakness to give racing its 11th Triple Crown winner.
Big Brown broke from the middle of an undistinguished pack and jockey Kent Desormeaux took him off the pace. He was fourth the first time past the grandstand, behind pacesetter Gayego. He moved up to third on the first turn, where he stayed all the way down the backstretch.
Horse Racing's Triple Crown
The three races are all run within six weeks of one another, in May and early June. The Kentucky Derby takes places in Louisville, Ky., on the first Saturday in May, the Preakness follows two weeks later in Baltimore, Md., and the Belmont rounds out the schedule three weeks after that, in Belmont, N.Y.
This was not always the case. The Belmont Stakes was the first of the three races to be run, in 1867. The Preakness came along in 1873, followed by the Kentucky Derby two years later. In 1917 and 1922, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness were run on the same day. The current order was set in 1931.
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Winning the Triple Crown is a difficult achievement. As of 2015, only 12 horses have done it.
The 12 horses that have won the Triple Crown are these:
One reason that winning the Triple Crown is so difficult is that the three races are of different lengths. The Kentucky Derby race distance is 1.25 miles. The distance for the Preakness Stakes is 1.19 miles. The longest of the three, the Belmont, is 1.5 miles.
The history of these three races is full of horses that have won one race or even two in the same year but not all three. In recent years, trainers have opted not to enter horses in all three races. American Pharaoh, the 2015 Belmont winner, was the first winner of that race in nearly a decade to have run the first two races as well.
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