Triple Crown Horses: Winners And Failed Attempts

With California Chrome on the cusp of history, what better time to look back at all the Triple Crown winners in history – as well as the horses that almost made it.

Since its genesis, the Triple Crown has seen 11 winners. The race’s most prosperous period was an 18 year stretch from 1930-48, when seven horses claimed the prize. There was a dry spell until the 1970s, when three horses took the Crown in a span of six years.

Below is a list of the winners and the years in which they won.

  • 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

And now for the have-nots. It’s not a knock on these horses, as finishing strong in the 1.5 mile Belmont is quite a feat. A total of 19 thoroughbreds have tried and come up just short – most recently Big Brown in 2008.

Below is a list of the horses who took the Kentucky Derby and Preakness stakes before missing out on the Belmont Stakes.

  • Pensive – 1944
  • Tim Tam – 1958
  • Carry Black – 1961
  • Northern Dancer – 1964
  • Kauai King – 1966
  • Forward Pass – 1968
  • Majestic Prince – 1969
  • Canonero II – 1971
  • Spectacular Bid – 1979
  • Pleasant Colony – 1981
  • Alysheba – 1987
  • Sunday Silence – 1989
  • Silver Charm – 1997
  • Real Quiet – 1998
  • Charismatic – 1999
  • War Emblem – 2002
  • Funny Cide – 2003
  • Smarty Jones – 2004
  • Big Brown – 2008

Which list will California Chrome be on after this year’s Belmont?