Horse Racing’s triple crown might be the most elusive achievement in any sport. The first horse to ever win the triple crown was Sir Barton in 1919. In the almost 100 year since then, only 10 other horses of succeeded in taking home horse racing’s most elusive title. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978. If American Pharoah wins the Belmont Stakes, it would be 37 years in between Triple Crown winners, the longest drought in the history of the sport.
2. Near Misses
Horse racing has been desperate for another Triple Crown winner for almost 40 years. The 2000’s have been especially heart breaking, with 6 horses winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in the same season, before falling in the Belmont Stakes. Last year California Chrome finished 4th in the Belmont Stakes, after winning the first two. 2004 might be the most heartbreaking of the last twenty years, with Birdstone using the last stretch at the Belmont to overcome a 4 length deficit to edge Smarty Jones Triple Crown attempt by a length. Throw in other near misses from I’ll have Another, Big Brown, Funny Cide, and War Emblem, and the 2000’s have been a bit rough on the Triple Crown hopeful.
3. Because he can win it
One of the reasons that the Triple Crown so difficult, is the differences in lengths between the three races. The Kentucky Derby is 2 km, the Preakness Stakes is 1.9 km, and the Belmont Stakes is 2.4 km, a half a km longer than the Preakness. Following American Pharaoh’s slim victory at the Kentucky Derby, the expectations at the Preakness were lulled. But the 3 year old Colt destroyed the field in the rain, winning by something like 7 lengths. He led front the start, but came alive in the home stretch, pulling away from everyone. With that kind of performance, it has fans across the world believing that he has the ability to keep that going over the extra half a kilometer, and pull in the triple crown we have all been waiting for.