Almanac Racing: Triple Crown Anyone?

Sunday morning (Australian time), American Pharoah is odds on favourite to become the 12th winner of the American Triple Crown when he contests the Belmont Stakes.
Having won the first 2 legs he is the 14th horse to attempt to complete the Triple Crown since 1978 when Affirmed successfully won all 3 races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes).
Sir Barton was the first Triple Crown winner when he won the Belmont in 1919 and then none were successful until 1930. Between 1930 and 1948, seven horses won the Triple Crown. However, following Citation’s win in 1948 there was a break of 25 years until the incredible Secretariat triumphed by 31 lengths in the Belmont (in record time) to smash the drought in 1973.
Here’s the replay if you haven’t seen it before.

Then followed wins by Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed the following year.
While Affirmed remains in the news as the last winner of the Triple Crown, the horse who ran second to him in each of those races is the real story. Affirmed, quite rightly, went to stud with much expectation but was, relatively, a flop. Alydar, beaten a total of 2 lengths in the 3 races by Affirmed, was a stunning success at stud right from the start. Unfortunately for him, he was at the wrong stud.
This is “a sweeping saga of greed, fraud, and almost unimaginable cruelty that could have been lifted straight from a best-selling Dick Francis horse-racing novel”. Read on…

And more if you’re hooked


  1. Fascinating. What’s your inkling? Tom Dixon’s fairly certain.

  2. cowshedend says

    Love it Budge, the Alydar story is amazing

  3. You are on the money comparing this to a Dick Francis novel

  4. I’m still tingling from watching Secreteriat – seen it before but it never ceases to amaze. aah, 1973 – now there was a year Oges!

  5. That Secretariat video is a classic!

  6. Am I missing something here Crio ?

  7. American Pharoah attempts to complete the Triple Crown at 8:50am tomorrow (Sunday) our time. My tip is Frosted, who ran on well for 3rd in the Kentucky Derby, missed the Preakness and looks suited to the extra distance here.

  8. The Belmont Stakes is Race 11 on a 13 race program!

  9. Wayne Ball says

    I get the feeling the “fix” is in to allow American Pharaoh (the horse’s name is misspelt) to win the Triple.

    Just like at the Preakness, the field for the Belmont is reduced to a bare minimum to reduce the chances of a checked run.

    I reckon California Chrome was the better horse than American Pharaoh. At least all his runs were against bigger fields and would have been more deserved.

  10. Don’t think it would have mattered Wayne. This horse is comfortably the best of his age this season. Frosted 5 and a half lengths astern. Even the NYT is going with Pharoah now – has it officially been spellchecked?

  11. Apparently they realised the spelling error soon after the horse was registered but left it due to the same superstition that means if you back the wrong horse you don’t take the ticket back.

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