It certainly seems like having a Triple Crown winner is about as unlikely as finding a unicorn in the woods. There have only been 11 in the history of the Triple Crown. For those who aren’t horse racing fans, the Triple Crown is awarded to a horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes and the Belmont. The horse must win all three races.
The Belmont is the real bitch of racetracks. It is a mile and a half. The other two tracks are shorter. The horses who have run in the Derby and Preakness are already tired. By the time the Belmont is run, most horses just don’t have what it takes. What seems unfair is horses that have not run in the Derby or the Preakness can enter the Belmont. Those late-comers haven’t been through the rigors of those first 2 races, thus putting them at a disadvantage.
The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978. The 70’s were blessed after a long drought since the 40s produced 4 winners. Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978) were all winners. With any luck, a 3 year old colt named American Pharoah will emerge from Saturday’s race as the first Triple Crown winner of this century. 37 years is a long time to wait for a winner.
Washington Post article