It is a triple crown simply because, to earn it, a horse must win three stakes races in the same year. These races are considered the ‘gems’ of the sport and are traditionally the most challenging ones.
This is a race for thoroughbred horses of 3 years old.
There have been 11 winners of the American Triple Crown with twenty-nine horses being eligible to win the Triple Crown coming into the final leg of the challenge – the Belmont Stakes.
1919 Sir Barton was the first to wear the Crown.
The decade of the 1930s produced three Triple Crown winners: Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), and War Admiral (1937). Omaha was sired by Gallant Fox, who is the only Triple Crown winner to sire another Triple Crown champion.
The next decade produced four Triple Crown victors: Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), and Citation (1948). It took another 25 years before Secretariat broke the silence who in 1973 took the Triple Crown honor out of the cobwebs. On June 7th 1978 , a Well built chestnut son of Exclusive Native named Affirmed was the last of 11 triple crown winners in the history of the 3 race series
A $5 million bonus is paid to the winner.