Triple Crown winners: will California Chrome break a cold streak and join the legends?

Rob Carr

It has been 36 years since the last Triple Crown winner in thoroughbred racing. At Belmont, California Chrome will try to join the ranks of some of the most legendary horses to ever gallop.

Update: Tonalist wins, denies California Chrome Triple Crown

The brilliant horses of the 1970s have not seen anyone meet their mark since. It has been nearly four decades since the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, dominated the 1978 season. There are plenty of prognosticators and gamblers who think that California Chrome can break this streak, giving the horse 3/5 odds. These folks are likely betting on the horse, not on history, as four horses this decade have come close without any cigar (or the horse equivalent of cigar): War Emblem in 2002, Funny Cide in 2003, Smarty Jones in 2004, and Big Brown in 2008.

The purple-and-green clad colt has a shot at American history, but there have been plenty of Triple Crown winners in other countries. Wando won the 2003 Canadian Triple Crown, and a horse named Matty Alou won in the Dominican Republic in 2008. The American races are where the money -- and also the gambling -- is at, however, and Belmont will be raucous with both on Saturday, June 7. The stands will also be full of memories, as the real old-timers in attendance will have the ghosts of horses past galloping through their minds.

These are the eleven horses who have won the Triple Crown:

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

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