Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (although sometimes shortened to Triple Crown, the full name is used to avoid possible confusion with other sports) consists of three races for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses. Winning all three of these Thoroughbred horse races is considered the greatest accomplishment of a Thoroughbred racehorse. Different nations where thoroughbred racing is popular each have their own Triple Crown series. In recent years, winning a Triple Crown has become a very rare achievement, with most horses specializing on a limited range of distances.
United States Triple Crowns
In the United States, the three races that compose the Triple Crown are:
- Kentucky Derby, run over 1 and 1/4 miles (2.01 km) dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky;
- Preakness Stakes, run over 1 and 3/16 miles (1.91 km) dirt track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland;
- Belmont Stakes, run over 1 and 1/2 miles (2.41 km), the longest dirt track in thoroughbred racing, at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
No horse has won the U.S. Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
There is also the Triple Tiara (formerly known as the Filly Triple Crown):
- Acorn Stakes, run over 1 mile dirt track, at Belmont Park;
- Mother Goose Stakes, run over 1 1/8 miles dirt track, at Belmont Park;
- Coaching Club American Oaks, run over 1 1/4 miles dirt track, also at Belmont Park (previously 1 1/2 miles);
In 2003, the Triple Tiara was reconfigured to consist of the Mother Goose Stakes, Coaching Club American Oaks, and the Alabama Stakes, a 1 1/4 mile race held in August at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. The New York Racing Association, the operator of Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, once offered a $2 million bonus to the filly that swept the three races. The bonus was discontinued in 2005. In 2007 the New York Racing Association reverted back to the original three races of the tiara; the Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks. No filly swept the reconfigured series.
Thus far, only eight horses have won the Triple Tiara:
- Dark Mirage (1968)
- Shuvee (1969)
- Chris Evert (1974)
- Ruffian (1975)
- Davona Dale (1979)
- Mom's Command (1985)
- Open Mind (1989)
- Sky Beauty (1993)
No filly won the reconfigured Triple Tiara between 2003-2006.
- the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, run over 1 mile (1,609 meters) at Newmarket Racecourse in Newmarket, Suffolk;
- the Epsom Derby, run over 1 mile 4 furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 meters) at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Epsom, Surrey;
- the St. Leger Stakes, run over 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards (2,937 meters) at Town Moor in Doncaster, Yorkshire.
There is also a Fillies Triple Crown for a filly winning the 1,000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes. In the past this was not considered a true Triple Crown as the best fillies would run in the Derby and Two Thousand Guineas. As this is no longer the case, the Fillies' Triple Crown would now be considered as comparable as the original. Winners of the Fillies Triple Crown are:
- 1868 - Formosa, also dead heated in the Two Thousand Guineas
- 1871 - Hannah
- 1874 - Apology, also won the Ascot Gold Cup
- 1892 - La Fleche, also won the Ascot Gold Cup
- 1904 - Pretty Polly
- 1920 - Sceptre, also won the Two Thousand Guineas
- 1942 - Sun Chariot
- 1985 - Oh So Sharp
In the 150 years that these races have been run, only fifteen horses have ever won the English Triple Crown, including the great Nijinsky II in 1970. Nijinsky II was only the second winner of the English Triple Crown since the end of World War I. For many years, it was considered unlikely that any horse would ever win the English Triple Crown again. In the winter of 2006/2007, however, trainer Jim Bolger was training his unbeaten colt Teofilo for the Triple Crown. and bookmaker William Hill plc was offering odds of only 12/1 against Teofilo winning the 2007 Triple Crown. However, the horse was withdrawn from the 2000 Guineas two days before the race after suffering a setback.
Since Nijinsky, only Nashwan in 1989 and Sea the Stars in 2009 have won both the Guineas and the Derby, and in addition, no Derby winner (including both Nashwan and Sea the Stars) has even entered the St. Leger since Reference Point in 1987, although this is primarily due to the impact it would have on a horse's stud value, which would not be the case for a horse who had already won the Guineas.
For a list of the annual individual race winners, see English Triple Crown race winners.
Triple Crown Champions:
|1853||West Australian||Frank Butler||John Scott||John Bowes|
|1865||Gladiateur||Harry Grimshaw||Tom Jennings, Sr.||Frédéric de Lagrange|
|1866||Lord Lyon||Harry Custance||James Dover||Richard Sutton|
|1886||Ormonde||Fred Archer||John Porter||Duke of Westminster|
|1891||Common||George Barrett||John Porter||Sir Frederick Johnstone|
|1893||Isinglass||Tommy Loates||James Jewitt||Harry McCalmont|
|1897||Galtee More||Charlie Wood||Sam Darling||John Gubbins|
|1899||Flying Fox||Morny Cannon||John Porter||Duke of Westminster|
|1900||Diamond Jubilee||Herbert Jones||Richard Marsh||Edward, Prince of Wales|
|1903||Rock Sand||Danny Maher||George Blackwell||Sir James Miller|
|1915||Pommern||Steve Donoghue||Charles Peck||Solly Joel|
|1917||Gay Crusader||Steve Donoghue||Alec Taylor, Jr.||Alfred W. Cox|
|1918||Gainsborough||Joseph Childs||Alec Taylor, Jr.||Lady James Douglas|
|1935||Bahram||Freddie Fox||Frank Butters||HH Aga Khan III|
|1970||Nijinsky||Lester Piggott||Vincent O'Brien||Charles W. Engelhard, Jr.|
In Ireland, the Triple Crown, modelled on the English equivalent, is made up of
- the Irish 2,000 Guineas;
- the Irish Derby; and
- the Irish St. Leger, (open to older horses)
all run at the Curragh.
Only two horses have won all three races since the Irish Two Thousand Guineas was first run in 1921: Museum in 1935 and Windsor Slipper in 1942 (Williams & Hyland 1980). Desert King won the first two legs in 1997, but was perceived to have stamina limitations and not aimed at the St. Leger. Ironically, he went on to sire a great stayer in Makybe Diva, three times winner of the Melbourne Cup over 2 miles (3.2 km).
The first race of the three year old Triple Crown initially included the Canterbury Guineas (1,900 m) but nowadays the first leg is:
- 1. Randwick Guineas (1,600 m)
- 2. Rosehill Guineas (2,000 m)
- 3. AJC Australian Derby (2,400 m).
Only five horses have won the Australian Two Year Old Triple Crown:
- 1970 Baguette
- 1977 Luskin Star
- 1991 Tierce
- 1992 Burst (filly)
- 2004 Dance Hero
In Germany, the Triple Crown (Dreifache Krone) consists of
- Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen, German 2000 Guineas (formerly Henckel-Rennen), Cologne, 1600 m
- Deutsches Derby, Hamburg, 2400 m
- Deutsches St. Leger, Dortmund, 2800 m
Only one horse has won the German Triple Crown, Königsstuhl in 1979. As the St. Leger has been demoted to Group III status, it's highly unlikely he will ever have a successor.
Japan has two sets of races referred to as Triple Crowns.
Japanese Triple Crown
Only six horses have received the Japanese Triple Crown:
- 1941 St Lite (Diolite - Flippancy, by Flamboyant)
- 1964 Shinzan (Hindostan - Hayanobori, by Hayatake)
- 1983 Mr. C.B. (Tosho Boy - C.B. Queen, by Topyo)
- 1984 Symboli Rudolf (Partholon - Sweet Luna, by Speed Symboli)
Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown
- the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), at Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, Tokyo
- the Shuka Sho (since 1996), at Kyoto Racecourse in Kyoto, Kyoto / the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (1976 - 1995)
Only two horses have received the Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown:
- 1986 Mejiro Ramonu (Mogami - Mejiro Hiryu, by Never Beat)
- 2003 Still in Love (Sunday Silence - Bradamante, by Roberto)
The Triple Crown series at Hong Kong's Sha Tin Racecourse consists of three races at increasingly longer distances. They are:
- Hong Kong Stewards' Cup at 1,600 metres (0.99 mi) held in January
- Hong Kong Gold Cup at 2,000 metres (1.2 mi) held in February
- Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup at 2,400 metres (1.5 mi) held in May
In 1994, River Verdon became the first, and to date, only horse to win the Hong Kong Triple Crown.
In Macau, Macau Jockey Club introduced the Triple Crown Series in 2008, with three race all held in Taipa Racecourse, Macau
- Director's Cup, Macau Group 2 Race, 1,500 metres (0.93 mi)
- Macau Cup ,Macau Group 2 Race ,1,500 metres (0.93 mi)
- Macau Gold Cup, Macau Group 1 Race, 1,800 metres (1.1 mi)
In 2009 Macau Jockey Club changed the series for 4-year old horses
- Macau Guineas, Macau Group 1 Race, 1,500 metres (0.93 mi), only for 4-year old horses
- Macau Derby ,Macau Group 1 Race, 1,800 metres (1.1 mi), only for 4-year old horses
- Macau Gold Cup, Macau Group 1 Race, 1,800 metres (1.1 mi)
- Clásico El Ensayo, Club Hipico de Santiago
- Clásico St. Leger, Hipodromo Chile
- El Derby, Valparaiso Sporting Club
The Triple Crown series at Puerto Rico's Camarero Racetrack consists of three races at increasingly longer distances. They are:
- 1. Derby Puertorriqueño at 1,700 meters (8½ furlongs) held in the first Sunday of May
- 2. Copa Gobernador at 1,800 meters (9 furlongs) held in the end of May
- 3. Copa San Juan at 1,900 meters (9½ furlongs) held in the last Sunday of June
The Puerto Rico Triple Crown winners are:
- Cardiólogo (1961),
- El Rebelde (1966),
- Hurly Road (1981),
- Vuelve Candy B. (1991),
- Cherokee Pepper (1999),
- Estrellero (2001),
- Mediavilla R. (2002).
This combination of races received some publicity outside of Uruguay in 2006. The 2005 Triple Crown winner Invasor, after being sold to Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell Racing and sent to be raced in the United States, went on to win three Grade I races in 2006 before winning that year's Breeders' Cup Classic. He finished the year as the top-ranked horse in the 2006 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings, and won the 2007 Dubai World Cup before being retired to stud following a training injury.
Ecuador Triple Crown
- Clásico Estreno Dr. Raúl Lebed Sigall, at Hipódromo BUIJO in Samborondón;
- Clásico Polla Nacional Sr. Agustin Febres Cordero, at Hipódromo BUIJO in Samborondón;
- Clásico Derby Nacional Sr.Benjamin Rosales A., at Hipódromo BUIJO in Samborondón;
Ecuador Fillies' Triple Crown
- Clásico Ing. Carlos San Andres, at Hipódromo BUIJO in Samborondón;
- Clásico Sr. Eduardo Jairala F, at Hipódromo BUIJO in Samborondón;
- Clásico Abogado Carlos Julio Arosemena Peet, at Hipódromo BUIJO in Samborondón;
- Clásico Nelson Uraga Suarez, at Hipódromo Santa Cecilia in Guayaquil;
- Clásico Enrique Guzman Aspiazu, at Hipódromo Santa Cecilia in Guayaquil;
- Clásico Inginiero Ignacio De Icaza Aspiazu, at Hipódromo Santa Cecilia in Guayaquil.
Triple Crown Champions:
|Capo Di Monte II|
|1967||Alcatraz||Estuardo Torero||Alcides Guerrero||Inginiero Miguel Salem Dibo|
|1971||Farsante||Estuardo Torero||Alcides Guerrero||Inginiero Miguel Salem Dibo|
Venezuela has two sets of races referred to as Triple Crowns:
- Venezuelan Official Triple Crown
- Clásico José Antonio Páez, at Hipódromo La Rinconada in Caracas;
- Clásico Cría Nacional (former Clásico Ministerio de Agricultura y Cría), at Hipódromo La Rinconada in Caracas;
- Clásico República de Venezuela (Venezuelan Derby), at Hipódromo La Rinconada in Caracas;
- Venezuelan Fillies' Triple Crown
- Clásico Hipódromo La Rinconada, at Hipódromo La Rinconada in Caracas;
- Clásico Prensa Hípica Nacional, at Hipódromo La Rinconada in Caracas;
- Clásico General Joaquín Crespo, at Hipódromo La Rinconada in Caracas;
Venezuelan Official Triple Crown Champions: (From 1956)
|1960||Gradisco||Manuel Camacaro||Leopoldo Márquez||Stud Rey-Gan|
|1972||El Corsario||José Luís Vargas||Eduardo Azpúrua||Stud El Corsario|
|1985||Iraquí||Juan Vicente Tovar||(+) Daniel Pérez||Stud Chivacoa|
|1992||Catire Bello||Douglas Valiente||(+) Iván Calixto||Stud Ilusión|
|2005||Polo Grounds||Emisael Jaramillo||Carlos Regalado||Stud Black Label|
|2007||Taconeo||Emisael Jaramillo||Gustavo Delgado||Stud Paula C|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Craig, Dennis, Breeding Racehorses from Cluster Mares, J A Allen, London, 1964
- ↑ http://midas.picdar.co.uk/cgi-bin/RP?MatchIndex=20&urn=719112136&Random=-1364681031&FFAC=WM0000025265&searchid=1
- ↑ "SMH Sport". http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/horseracing/metal-bender-poised-to-join-greats-in-derby/2009/04/10/1239223048208.html. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- ↑ Huxley, Dennis, Miller’s Guide, Sporting records, 2009/2010, Miller’s Guide P/L, Moonee Ponds
- ↑ Thoroughbred Times Retrieved 2010-5-1