Winning the Triple Crown™ is a prestigious honor. Comprised of three races; Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Derby® and Belmont Stakes, becoming a Triple Crown™ winner is the greatest honor that any horse racing team strives to achieve throughout their racing career. With that being said, only 12 horses in history have won the Triple Crown, proving just how hard it is to complete the trifecta.
Belmont Experiences is breaking down each of the 12 Triple Crown™ winners for you in a 12-part series occurring every Tuesday. Today's Triple Crown™ winner is War Admiral, who was the exception to the rule for his owner, which was a risk that paid off.
Samuel Riddle, the owner of War Admiral, took a chance on the three-year-old thoroughbred and in 1937, entered his first horse in the Kentucky Derby®. Despite his slow start, War Admiral was favored to win the Derby and for good reason. He led the race the entire time in wire-to-wire fashion and won 1 ¾ lengths ahead of runner-up, Pompoon. The sports editor for the Lexington Herald, Neville Dunn, reported, “…he won so easily, so effortlessly, that 65,000 fans nudged one another and said, I told you War Admiral could run like Man o’ War.””
During Preakness Stakes, War Admiral was off to a slow start again and had problems getting around the turns, but still managed to take the lead early on. Derby runner-up, Pompoon, raced neck and neck with War Admiral but failed to keep up and War Admiral took first place in the final stretch.
War Admiral delayed the start of Belmont Stakes eight times as he broke through barriers and refused to cooperate. Once he finally calmed down he stumbled through the gate and started off slow, but quickly recovered and won the race by three lengths. He set a new track record and was crowned the fourth Triple Crown™ winner!
As he entered the Winners Circle, War Admiral’s trainer and jockey promptly noticed his stomach and legs were covered in blood from striking his front right hoof when he stumbled out of the gate. He was unable to race in the summer season, but came back in full swing in the fall and was awarded Horse of the Year for 1937!
Will there be a Triple Crown™ winner in 2018? Be There to See It All Happen!
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