5 Last Horses To Win The Triple Crown

When it comes to the ultimate achievement in horse racing, it is almost impossible to find a most prestigious title than a Triple Crown champion. This is the life goal for most of the participants, but it doesn’t come very easily.

In fact, with the 100-year tradition of the Triple Crown races, there have been only 13 horses for the ultimate title. This proves how hard is to win all three races at once.

What is the Triple Crown?

The Triple Crown is a series of three professional 3-year-old thoroughbred horse races combined by the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.

Each race is different from the other and has a different level of difficulty. The trouble with the Triple Crown championship is that it opens its doors to only 3-year-old horses, which means they got only one chance for winning this ultimate title in their lifetime.

This year there won’t be a Triple Crown winner, because the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Rich Strike, rejected competing in the Preakness Stakes.

Let’s check who were the last 5 horses to win the 3 races in the same year.

Last 5 Horses that Won the Triple Crown

Justify – 2018

Justify managed to write its name in the horse racing history books, not only by winning the Triple Crown but also by becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown without running as a two-year-old.

It was an impressive horse that surprised everyone with its incredible speed. The best thing is that he retired from professional horse racing right after winning the Triple Crown, as a true undefeated champion.

You can find 10 interesting facts about Triple Crown winner Justify here.

American Pharoah -2015

Even though most people claim that the high competition in modern horse racing makes winning the Triple Crown impossible, we have two wins in four years, which is the most we had in a while.

But before American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes, he broke a thirty-seven-year drought of Triple Crown winners. 

This is why American Pharoah was also named two-year-old champion and 2015 Horse of the Year.

He was an incredible horse that nobody believed could win the Triple Crown, except Todd Pletcher (the trainer) who was looking for that Triple Crown title forever.

Same to Justify, American Pharoah was trained by Bob Baffert, who is now banned from attending the Triple Crown races.

Affirmed – 1978

Affirmed probably had the most formidable foe of any Triple Crown winner, Alydar. The battle in the Triple Crown races at that time was incredible. The two faced off each other in every race, and their rivalry pushed each other to their limits, but Affirmed stayed strong and managed to win all three races.

He became the first horse to earn two million dollars and Horse of the Year in both 1978 and 1979.

It is important to mention that Affirmed was the great-great-grandson of Triple Crown winner War Admiral, and maybe he has those champions genes that pushed him to the victory.

At the time speculation surrounded how Affirmed got its name, and most people believed that it references the court of Appeals’ decision to affirm the horse owners’ criminal conviction.

Seattle Slew -1977

Seattle Slew had an amazing career in professional horse racing. The horse was bought for $17,500, and after the training, he managed to win the first nine races of his career, including the all-Triple Crown races.

This made Seattle Slew the first horse to win the Triple Crown without losing a race before. The next horse that claimed to be the undefeated champion was Justify in 2018. 

After finishing his career in professional horse racing, Seattle Slew was turned out to stud, and he produced some terrific runners that continue to shake the Thoroughbred racing today. The most notable horse is the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Swale and A.P. Indy.

Secretariat – 1973

If you are interested in horse racing, chances are that you’ve definitely heard the name Secretariat. This amazing horse had extraordinary abilities that got him the Triple Crown title after setting records that are still hard to beat in all three races. 

The Secretariat managed to finish the Kentucky Derby in a blistering time of 1:59 2/5 seconds and has never been broken since.

He also managed to win the Preakness Stakes with 2 ½ lengths over Sham, and won the Belmont Stakes by a whopping 30 lengths and his time was not only a record for the Belmont Stakes but also the fastest time ever recorded for a 1 ½ mile on the dirt surface in history.