The spring months are the few months out of the year that our whole country thinks about horse racing. With the running of the Triple Crown races, the media, for a few months, gives the thoroughbred racing world a lot of attention.
The Kentucky Derby: The Run for the Roses
The Kentucky Derby was originally run in 1875 and the race was 1 1/2 miles. In 1896 it was shortened to the current distance of 1 1/4 miles. The Kentucky Derby has been continuously run from its inception. Colts carry 126 pounds and fillies carry 121 pounds. Since 1975, the field has been limited to 20 horses. The Kentucky Derby is run the first Saturday in May.
The Preakness Stakes: The Run for the Black Eyed Susans
The Preakness Stakes is held in Baltimore Maryland at Pimlico Racecourse. The race is run the third Saturday in May. The Preakness Stakes is the shortest of the three races at 1 3/16 miles. Pimlico was home of the Preakness from 1873-1880 and then again from 1908 to the present. It was not run 1891-1893. Weights are the same as the Kentucky Derby and the field is limited to 14 horses.
The Belmont Stakes: The Test of the Champion
Begun in 1867, the Belmont is the oldest of the three races. It was not held in 1911 and 1912 due to anti-gambling legislation in New York. The race was held at various tracks until Belmont Park became the permanent home of the race is 1905. The distance of the race varied until it was set at 1/12 miles in 1926. The weights carried are the same as the other two races and the field is limited to 16 horses.
List Of Triple Crown Winners
1919 Sir Barton
1930 Gallant Fox
1937 War Admiral
1943 Count Fleet
1977 Seattle Slew
2015 American Pharoah
Following the Triple Crown races is fun and exciting! Soon we will know who the contenders are and we can start rooting for our favorites. Will 2019 be another Triple Crown Year? Only time will tell!