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Triple Crown Information, History & Winners
Few accomplishments in sports can match the feat of sweeping the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing. The triumvirate of races-Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes-have been held each spring and early summer for more than 125 years to determine the best of that year's crop of 3-year old Thoroughbred racehorses.
Since 1919, just 11 3-year-old Thoroughbred race horses have managed to sweep the Triple Crown racing series. The last to accomplish the feat was Affirmed in 1978, which makes this the longest streak between Triple Crown winners in the sport's history.
There is nothing more exciting than owning a Thoroughbred champion competing for a win in the Kentucky Derby or for the Triple Crown title. Feel the excitement by becoming a virtual Thoroughbred owner, building your stable and racing against an international community of horse racing fans. This free, exciting race horse game is the most popular in the world.
A variety of factors attribute to the difficulty of becoming a Triple Crown winner. A major reason is the fact a Triple Crown winner must win three races at three different race courses in just five weeks, which is a grueling schedule virtually unheard of in modern racing. Additionally, the races are run at different distances, the longest distances these three-year-old Thoroughbreds have ever raced in their young racing careers.
The Kentucky Derby is contested over 1 1/4-miles at Churchill Downs Race Course in its namesake state, while the Preakness covers 1 3/16-miles at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland and the Belmont is run at 1 1/2-miles at Belmont Park Racetrack in New York.
One additional reason winning the Triple Crown is so difficult to accomplish is the timing of the races. The Triple Crown occurs at a time in a Thoroughbred's life that can be comparable to a pubescent teenager in human terms. Thoroughbreds are still developing during the spring of their 3-year-old seasons and that means the competition among these young race horses is constantly changing and improving.
Watching a Thoroughbred horse evolve to a potential champion can be one of the most exciting experiences you can ever imagine. Here is your chance to participate in horse racing as an owner by simply joining our free virtual racing game and breeding and caring for your Thoroughbred horse and preparing that race horse for a successful racing career in the world of virtual horse racing, even racing in a virtual Triple Crown series. Join in the excitement and breed your first Thoroughbred free.
While all three Triple Crown races date to the 19th century, it wasn't until decades later that they were identified as being part of any type of series. As the story goes, Charles Hatton of the Daily Racing Form first coined the term "Triple Crown" in 1930 to describe Gallant Fox's sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
However, it wasn't until 1931 that the Triple Crown fell into its current schedule of having the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs Race Course, followed two weeks later by the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course and concluding with the Belmont Stakes in New York three weeks later.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the current drought between Triple Crown winners has been the evolution in training methods. Up through the 1970's, it was commonplace for a Thoroughbred to race every one or two weeks throughout the year, which made the grueling Triple Crown series not so out of the ordinary. However, in the modern game, racehorses are only asked to compete every four to six weeks on average. That makes the Triple Crown series schedule of three races in five weeks a completely unique and daunting challenge.
With the memory of Affirmed's Triple Crown sweep continuing to fade, there has been a growing chorus in the Thoroughbred industry calling for the Triple Crown schedule to be altered to allow for more time between races. However, that idea has yet to gain much traction. Proponents of the current system point out winning the Triple Crown is not meant to be easy, but when the right Thoroughbred horse comes along it can still be accomplished.
Do you have the skills to choose the right sire and dam and breed your virtual horse to compete successfully against a worldwide community of racing fans for valuable prizes and top community recognition. If you believe that you can successfully manage and care for a stable of virtual Thoroughbred race horses and want to watch those horses compete at racetracks all around the country in amazing rich 3D graphics including in a virtual Kentucky Derby, a Preakness Stakes, a Belmont Stakes or the Triple Crown series, then why not play this free online horse racing game right now. Virtual racing has never been so much fun!
It's worth noting that prior to Secretariat coming along in 1973, it had been 25 years since racing's last Triple Crown winner-Citation in 1948-and similar sentiments were being expressed about the Triple Crown being impossibly difficult. That idea was smashed, for the time being at least, when three horses would go on to win the Triple Crown during the 1970's.
In all, 30 horses in the event's history have managed to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but only the 11 listed above were able to join the pantheon of Triple Crown winners with a win in the Belmont.
In recent years there has been a particularly high amount of near-misses in the Triple Crown. Since 1997, seven horses have entered the Belmont with a chance at winning the Triple Crown but were ultimately denied in "The Test of a Champion," as the Belmont Stakes is known. The last horse to do this was Big Brown in 2008. Other recent Kentucky Derby-Preakness winners that failed in the Belmont are Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Charismatic (1999), War Emblem (2002), Funny Cide (2003), and Smarty Jones (2004).
Are you ready to join the ranks of the owners of these 11 Triple Crown winners by breeding, caring for, racing and managing the racing careers of your own virtual horses? Feel the thrill and excitement when competing for valuable prizes and obtaining top recognition on our leader boards as a champion race horse owner when racing in a virtual Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes or the Triple Crown series . Join our community of fellow race horse fans by signing up today for a free account to our virtual racing game.