Triple Crown

The "Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing" or shortened to "Triple Crown" consists of three thoroughbred horse races; The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont Stakes. Winning all of these races is considered to be the the greatest accomplishment of a thoroughbred race horse.

The Kentucky Derby

"Run for the Roses"

The Kentucky Derby is held every year on the first Saturday in May in Louisville, Kentucky. This race which has been called “The greatest two-minutes in sports” has been around since 1895 and is limited to 20 thoroughbreds that are only three years old. In 1895, the length of the race was changed from one and a half miles to one and a quarter miles. This race is a Grade 1 race which is the highest level in the grading system used to identify thoroughbred stakes races. The winner receives over 1.4 million dollars. The horse also receives a blanket of roses when in the winner’s circle.

The Preakness Stakes

"Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown"

The Preakness Stakes is run on the third Saturday in May by three year old horses. The horses run 1 and 3/16 miles around the track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness is also called “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” because of a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans that is usually placed around the winning horse’s neck. On October 25, 1870, the former Maryland Governor Oden Bowie named the race after the horse “Preakness” won the Dinner Party Stakes that day the racetrack opened.

 

The Belmont Stakes

"Test of the Champion"

The Belmont Stakes are held every June in Belmont Park, in Elmont, New York. This race began in 1866 in Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx. In 1890 it moved to Morris Park Racecourses. Then in 1905, it was moved, and has stayed at Belmont Park. In 1921 the running of the race was changed from going clockwise (tradition of English Racing) to racing counter clockwise which is how they still race today. The race is one and a half miles long and is run by three year old thoroughbred horses. The Belmont Stakes are also called the “Run for the carnations” because of the blanket of carnations draped over the winning horse’s neck in the winner’s circle. The winner is also presented with the August Belmont Trophy which is considered to be one of the most prestigious trophies in the country.

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