Will a filly ever win the Triple Crown? Rachel Alexandra and Ruffian couldn't, but Genuine Risk gave it a good run

Will a filly ever win the Triple Crown? Rachel Alexandra and Ruffian couldn't, but Genuine Risk gave it a good run

With 2009 coming to a close, I started thinking about fillies in Triple Crown races. Winning the Triple Crown is, as most of us know, the toughest accomplishment in all of thoroughbred racing. There have only been 11 horses that have done in, and the last one to do it (Affirmed) was way back in 1978. All of the Triple Crown winners have been colts, so as tough as it is for a male to do it, it's even tougher for a filly. Why? Well, first of all 3-year-old fillies are not as physically developed as their male counterparts, and most of them are just not up to competing over a classic distance against quality colts three times in five weeks. It's extremely rare to see a filly compete in all three Triple Crown races, which underscores my previous point. There are a few examples of fillies winning a Triple Crown race: Winning Colors in the 1988 Kentucky Derby is a good one that comes to mind. You no doubt can remember that in 2007 the fantastic filly Rags to Riches beat Horse of the Year Curlin in a stirring stretch drive to become the first filly in over a century to win the third and toughest leg of the Triple Crown. Some of the very best fillies didn't even compete in the Triple Crown race, like Hall-of-Famers Ruffian, Personal Ensign, and Go for Wand. It is worth mentioning that Curlin, Rags to Riches' adversary in that 2007 Belmont, ran in the Kentucky Derby (finishing third) and won the Preakness Stakes in an awesome battle with Street Sense, the horse that had won the Kentucky Derby just two weeks prior, while Rags to Riches did not run in either race. One can only wonder what would have happened in that 2007 Belmont had Rags to Riches had to compete in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness before having to go the mile and a half in the Belmont Stakes. Would she have fared as well, worse, better, or the same? Perhaps one day history will look back on 2009 as a missed opportunity for history to be made since the greatest filly in at least a generation, Rachel Alexandra, wasn't entered in the Kentucky Derby. She dominated the Kentucky Oaks and then won the Preakness, so it really wouldn't have made sense to risk running her in the Belmont. However, it sure seems like Rachel Alexandra was that rare 3-year-old filly that had the stuff to not only compete in, but win the Triple Crown. The fact is, we'll never know. One thing we do know is that Genuine Risk is a filly that actually did run in all three Triple Crown races. Not only that, but she also won the Kentucky Derby, finished second in the Preakness and, as you'll see here, capped off a remarkable run by also finishing second in the Belmont. In fact, there are many die-hard fans who, to this day, believe that Angel Cordero, the jockey aboard eventual Preakness winner Codex, fouled the great filly by actually hitting her with his whip while the two horses were coming out of the final turn at Pimlico in 1980, and argue that she should have been declared the winner of the Preakness by the disqualification of Codex. But the fact is, you can't change the past; you can't rewind the clock of time because it marches on. No, Genuine Risk is not as fondly remembered as the previously mentioned superstars or even Lady's Secret, and maybe she wasn't as good, who knows? But by finishing first, second, and then second again in the Triple Crown races, she did something no other filly has ever done, and that's why we at Horse Race Game have a special place in our heart for this genuine equine champion. Even though she passed on in recent years, she will never be forgotten. You can ride Genuine Risk (she will drive like a new sports car) in our fantastic online racing game, and in doing so maybe you can win her the Preakness and Belmont! If you're going to ride her you might want to also bet her in our game and try to cash a big winning ticket. Double your fun and action in our skill game. Please check out all the great horse we have in our store for you to ride, bet and win.



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richardmacias's picture

Maybe Rachel can do it as a 4 year old

She would be as developed as the colts she will face and she has shown she can beat them. She would make history and could then cap it off with a BCC win and HOY. It would bring such great excitement to the sport.

winmoney's picture

The only problem with that

The only problem with that is that only 3-year-olds are eligible to compete in Triple Crown races, though she sure could win 2010 HOY, no doubt.

richardmacias's picture

Open up the sport

Maybe some tracks can get together and put up a Triple Crown Tournament for thoroughbread four year olds and up of their own and put a new and exciting twist in the sport giving some horses a second chance at greatness.

mangani's picture

Filly Triple Crown

As I am sure you know, there once was a filly Triple Crown (I believe they called it the Triple Tiara) and Ruffian did win it. I don't think they even emphasize it any more -- too bad. A lot of good fillies did win it, too. There even used to be the Handicap Triple Crown -- Whisk Broom II and Kelso won it, and one other horse -- but I think that has been played down over the past few years. I just remembered the other horse -- Fit To Fight.


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