Horse Racing

What is the Triple Crown and how many horses have won it?

The first Triple Crown was earned in 1919, and the feat has been achieved just a dozen more times since.

Will we see a Triple Crown winner in 2024?

The landmark 150th Kentucky Derby proved to be a memorable one, with Mystik Dan beating out two of the race's favorites, Sierra Leone and Fierceness, in a photo finish at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The thrilling triumph puts Mystik Dan one-third of the way to a rare Triple Crown. However, it's not a lock that the Derby winner will compete in the upcoming Preakness Stakes.

“We’re not committed to the Preakness, not yet,” trainer Kenny McPeek said, via The Associated Press. "I ran him back once in two weeks and it completely backfired on me. ... So, we’ll just watch him over the next week. It’ll be one of those (situations) where we’ll probably take it up to the last minute.

“We’ll let him tell us.”

If Mystik Dan is in the Preakness field, the horse will be looking to take another step toward history. Here's what to know about the Triple Crown:

What is the Triple Crown in horse racing?

The Triple Crown features three races for 3-year-old thoroughbred horses, with just weeks separating each event. A horse that emerges victorious in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes is dubbed a Triple Crown winner.

Mystik Dan won the 150th Kentucky Derby in a photo finish, with Sierra Leone and Forever Young following in 2nd and 3rd.

What is the order of the Triple Crown races?

The Triple Crown begins with the Kentucky Derby, followed by the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes.

What are the distances of the Triple Crown races?

The Belmont Stakes is the longest race at 1 1/2 miles. The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 miles long, while the Preakness Stakes is the shortest at 1 3/16 miles.

How many Triple Crown winners have there been?

Winning the Triple Crown is very hard to do. There have been just 13 Triple Crown winners in horse racing history, with the first one coming over 100 years ago.

Sir Barton was the first to claim the Triple Crown title all the way back in 1919, while Justify was the most recent to do so in 2018.

Here's a full look at the 13 Triple Crown winners:

  • Sir Barton, 1919
  • Gallant Fox, 1930
  • Omaha, 1935
  • War Admiral, 1937
  • Whirlaway, 1941
  • Count Fleet, 1943
  • Assault, 1946
  • Citation, 1948
  • Secretariat, 1973
  • Seattle Slew, 1977
  • Affirmed, 1978
  • American Pharoah, 2015
  • Justify, 2018

When is the Preakness Stakes 2024?

This next leg of the Triple Crown will take place on Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

When is the Belmont Stakes 2024?

The Triple Crown wraps up with the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8, at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The race comes just over a month after the Kentucky Derby.

Editor's note: This story was first published in 2023

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