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. 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. This week’s Triple Crown™ winner is the horse that was the punch line of reporter jokes, Assault, who clinched the title in 1946.
When Assault was a young colt he stepped on something so sharp that it pierced the sole of his right foot through the front of his hoof wall. As a result, his foot was stunted and misshapen, initially making it difficult for the thoroughbred to walk, let alone race. The press had a field day when his injury was announced, calling him “The Magnificent Cripple” and “The Club-Footed Comet,” some say these were meant to be compliments but Assault’s racing team was not amused.
Quickly, his trainer learned that while he may look like he’s going to fall over when he walks or trots, when he is going fast it’s as if there is nothing wrong with him at all. At 950 pounds, it was suggested that Assault was one of the smallest Triple Crown™ winners in history.
Road to the Triple Crown™ of 1946
As he set out on his journey to the Triple Crown™, he was favored 8-1 at the 1946 Kentucky Derby® and won by eight lengths. A week later at the Preakness Stakes, there was speculation that Assaults jockey, Warren Mehrtens, stepped out of the gate too soon but this was overruled, and the pair won the race by a neck.
At the 1946 Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown™, Assault was not favored to win despite winning the first two legs. With that being said, the favored horse, Lord Boswell, was nowhere to be found at the front of the race. Assault made one of his well-known swerves in the stretch and positioned himself to win by three lengths which earned him a Triple Crown™!
Start Your Journey to the Last Leg of the Triple Crown™ at Belmont park
Belmont Experiences offers gold and silver Official Ticket Package options which come complete with access to The Diamond Room at the North Shore Terrace and clubhouse seating for race weekend. Indulge in gourmet food, a premium open bar, private wagering stations and so much more! Be there for the 150th anniversary of the Belmont Stakes. Click for more information: