Of the hundreds of Thoroughbreds that have actually tried over the years, only 13 horses have actually won the coveted Triple Crown. To win such an respect is no easy feat, as steeds must have actually speed, stamina, and also perseverance.

You are watching: First horse to win the triple crown

The 13 Triple Crown winners defied the odds by winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont stakes in just a expectations of 5 weeks. That’s three races all at different distances in ~ three different tracks, making because that the can be fried test. Just the ideal of the best have managed to success this tremendous title.

1.Sir Barton (1919)

Jockey:Johnny Loftus
Trainers:Billy walker & H. Guy Bedwell
Owner:J.K.L. Ross
Race Record:31-13-6-5

Sir Barton was the an initial horse ever before to success the Triple Crown in 1919. In spite of winning America’s greatest honor in Thoroughbred racing, teacher Barton’s career had a unstable beginning.

As a two-year-old, teacher Barton shed all six of his starts. Though he showed speed and also stamina throughout workouts, his talent didn’t transfer over to his racing career. It wasn’t until his three-year-old season that his significant talent shined through.

In fact, in ~ the start of his three-year-old career, sir Barton played the duty of a rabbit equine to wear out his fellow challenger Eternal. This to be to allow his an ext famous stablemate, Billy Kelly, the chance to take house the win. However, this arrangement backfired and also Sir Barton winner by 5 lengths. His success only ongoing on native there.

Sir Barton was said to be a grouchy, stubborn horse. The only person that he chosen was his groom, Toots Thompson. After ~ his effective season as a three-year-old, the went on come have an additional successful year racing before retiring to stand at stud. After ~ his stud career, the U.S. Calvary purchase him and also he lived out his staying years in ~ a ranch in Wyoming.

2.Gallant Fox (1930)

Jockey:Earl Sande
Trainers:James E. Fitzsimmons
Owner:Belair Stud
Race Record:17-11-3-2

Gallant Fox’s racing job lasted native 1929-1930. He was sired through the renowned French-bred imported stallion, teacher Gallahad III.

The year Gallant Fox winner the Triple Crown, the Preakness arisen before the Kentucky Derby. In a expectancy of just 29 days, the only stallion prevailed to victory the Triple Crown. Though there had actually been vault mentions the the ‘Triple Crown’, Gallant Fox’s to win in the three well known races that year make the term popular.

After his effective racing career, Gallant Fox retirement to stud. His reproduction career lasted because that 22 year at Claiborne Farm.

Gallant Fox is the only Triple Crown winner to sire one more Triple Crown winner. His progeny, Omaha, walk on to victory the Triple Crown only 5 years ~ his father. In addition, Gallant Fox sired Flares, Omaha’s full brother, who came to be just the 2nd American-bred horse ever to success England’s Ascot gold Cup.

3.Omaha (1935)

J.A. Estes (Owned by Blood-Horse)
Jockey:Willie Saunders
Trainers:James E. Fitzsimmons
Owner:Belair Stud
Race Record:22-9-7-2

After a solid begin as a two-year-old, Omaha’s career take it off simply one year later. Adhering to in his legend father’s footsteps, Omaha walk on to victory the Triple Crown in 1935 as a three-year-old.

After his Triple Crown victory, Omaha was invited to complete at the distinguished Ascot yellow Cup. As a four-year-old, he traveled to England in really hopes of ending up being just the 2nd American steed to win this acclaimed race. Regardless of a valiant effort, Omaha directly missed taking residence the win, coming in 2nd place.

British trainer Cecil Boyd-Rochfort to plan to race Omaha again in ~ the Ascot yellow Cup in 1937, in really hopes the chestnut would take residence the win. However, Omaha came up lame and was no longer able come race.

Once retired, Omaha stood at stud in Kentucky in ~ Claiborne Farm. Soon after the beginning of his breeding career, he was turned over to the Jockey Club’s reproduction Bureau in 1943 ~ failing to perform satisfactorily. He continued to be at stud for 7 years in new York prior to moving to Nebraska, whereby he lived out the remainder of his life.

4.War Admiral (1937)

Keeneland Library cook Collection
Jockey:Charley Kurtsinger
Trainers:George H. Conway
Owner:Samuel Riddle
Race Record:26-21-3-1
Color:Dark brown

As the kid of the phenomenal racehorse male o’ War, battle Admiral complied with the success the his father. Regardless of not the same, similar thing his sire in appearance, the did in talent.

Though battle Admiral had actually a solid start as a two-year-old in 1936, his career yes, really took off as a three-year-old. In 1937, battle Admiral won every eight of his starts, which had winning the Triple Crown. He came to be a gyeongju icon, together he appeared to it is in unstoppable.

In 1938, war Admiral met up v his greatest rival, Seabiscuit. Regardless of a noble initiative by battle Admiral, Seabiscuit winner the exciting one-on-one matchup. Referred to as as the “match the the century” the American civilization considered Seabiscuit to be the underdog.

Just two races after ~ his Seabiscuit matchup, war Admiral go on come retire from racing. He went top top to stand at stud in ~ Faraway Farm until 1958. He sired 40 stakes winners and in 1945 he was named the leading American sire.

5.Whirlaway (1941)

Credit: Blood-Horse Library

Sired through English Derby winner Blenheim, Whirlaway showed to be a star in the gyeongju scene. In spite of being temperamental, that excelled ~ above the race track.

Whirlaway began out v a solid two-year-old season. As a three-year-old in 1941, Whirlaway go on to victory the Triple Crown in style. Tied with fellow Triple Crown winner Assault, the holds the document for the largest margin of win the Kentucky Derby in ~ eight lengths.

Whirlaway had actually a habit that bolting sharply the end of the stretch run. To solve this, his trainer Ben A. Jones devised a one-eyed blinker come shield his best eye. The plan worked and Whirlaway’s one-eyed blinker helped secure his Triple Crown win.

In enhancement to to win the Triple Crown, Whirlaway additionally won the Travers Stakes, ending up being the first and only equine to success all 4 races. ~ his retirement, he saw stand at stud at Calumet farm yard at the age of six. He confirmed to it is in a hard stud, siring multiple crest winners.

6.Count Fleet (1943)

Jockey:Johnny Longden
Trainers:Don Cameron
Owner:Fannie Hertz
Race Record:21-16-4-1

After almost having no racing career because of his gangly conformation, counting Fleet showed to be a legend racehorse. At first, recognized for his erratic behavior, he quickly showed the world just what that was qualified of doing.

As a three-year-old in 1943, count Fleet walk on to have an undefeated season, inducing win the Triple Crown. In ~ the time, he collection a record winning the Belmont stakes by an incredible distance of 25 lengths. Despite even facing injuries throughout the season, he went on to success all his starts.

Count Fleet ended up receiving an injury at the finish of his three-year-old season the took him out of commission. Despite there to be hope he might return come the racing scene, his owner man Hertz announced his retirement.

After retirement, count Fleet walk on to have a successful breeding career. That sired 39 stakes winners while standing at stud. Of every his offspring, he had actually one Kentucky Derby winner and also two Belmont stakes winners. The is part of a three-generation succession of Kentucky Derby winners, as his sire additionally won the Kentucky Derby, a feat that has only occurred one other time.

7.Assault (1946)

Jockey:Warren Mehrtens
Trainers:Max Hirsch
Owner:King Ranch
Race Record:42-18-6-8

Unlike many stake-winning Thoroughbreds that are sired in Kentucky, assault was born at majesties Ranch in Texas. However, the Triple Crown winner’s career practically never happened because of a unstable beginning.

As a youngster, attack was riddled v illnesses and injury. He got the nickname “club-footed comet” because of a deformed hoof that occurred from one injury. Despite all the battles he challenged as a young colt, he managed to find success ~ above the racetrack.

As a three-year-old in 1946, attack went ~ above to success the Triple Crown. In the Kentucky Derby, he won by eight lengths, tying v Whirlaway for the record. He didn’t allow his vault ailments or distinct personality slow him down.

Originally, attack was set to retire after his four-year-old job to stand at stud. However, back at kings Ranch, he showed to be infertile. He returned to his racing career and also competed until the period of seven. He then returned residence to kings Ranch to retire.

8.Citation (1948)

Citation came to be the fourth winner the the Triple Crown in the 1940s, taking home the location in 1948. His success started as a two-year-old and also continued on native there.

As a two-year-old, Citation won eight that his nine starts, regularly beating older, much more experienced horses. Together a three-year-old, that only got better, win 19 that his 20 starts. The went on to have one that the best three-year-old seasons in Thoroughbred racing, topping it off by to win the Triple Crown in style.

In 1951, Citation became the very first Thoroughbred come earn over $1 million in earnings. The went under in history as one of the most successful racehorses.

At one point, Citation winner 16 gyeongju in a row, a feat that is absolutely hard to achieve. ~ retiring in ~ the period of six, quote went top top to was standing at stud at Calumet Farm. That sired several remarkable offspring, including a Preakness crest winner.

9.Secretariat (1973)

Jockey:Ron Turcotte
Trainers:Lucien Laurin
Owner:Meadow Stable
Race Record:21-16-3-1

As the most famed racehorse and also Triple Crown winner ever, Secretariat had a career because that the ages. Affectionately recognized as big Red, the stunning chestnut ended up being an American icon.

Secretariat had actually a “nearly perfect” conformation v a well-balanced develop and an exceptional stride. Together a two-year-old, big Red won eight of his nine starts. His success only ongoing on together a three-year-old, as he conquered the gyeongju world.

In 1973, Secretariat won the Triple Crown in tremendous fashion. The made history by setting records in all 3 races, documents that have yet to it is in beaten. In the Belmont Stakes, Secretariat won by a document 31 lengths, making for among the most exciting races ever.

After retiring from a truly phenomenal career, Secretariat walk on to stand at stud at Claiborne Farm. He proved to it is in a successful stud, siring 54 stake winners. ~ his death, it was discovered that Secretariat’s heart to be 2.5 times larger than the typical horse.

Also read: 8 points You DIdn’t Know around Secretariat

10. Seattle Slew (1977)

Jockey:Jean Cruguet
Trainers:William H. Turner, Jr.
Owner:Mickey and also Karen Taylor and Dr. Jim and also Sally Hill
Race Record:17-14-2-0
Color:Dark just or brown

As a foal, Seattle Slew was claimed to it is in awkward, with some saying he looked favor a mule. However, he flourished out that his awkwardness and became listed for his elegant stride.

Seattle Slew began out sharp as a two-year-old, winning every one of his starts. His success transferred on to his three-year-old season as he go on to success the Triple Crown in 1977, never having lost a race. Seattle Slew became the an initial horse to success the Triple Crown undefeated in his career.

In his an initial race after the Belmont Stakes, Seattle Slew had his very first loss, comes in fourth in the Swaps Stake. His success continued on and also he go on to secure several more victories. After ~ a significant career, he retirement in 1978.

After racing, Seattle Slew saw Spendthrift farm yard in Lexington whereby he stood at stud for seven years. Later on, he moved to 3 Chimney farms in Midway, and in 1984, he to be the leading sire in America. The sired 111 crest winners, consisting of Swale who won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

11.Affirmed (1978)

Jockey:Steve Cauthen
Trainers:Laz Barrera
Owner:Harbor view Farm
Race Record:29-22-5-1

Just a year after ~ Seattle Slew winner the Triple Crown, Affirmed complied with in his footsteps. In fact, the two also raced versus each other, with Seattle Slew beating the chestnut in the Marlboro Cup.

As a two-year-old, Affirmed won seven of his nine starts. After a stellar start to his racing career, he started his three-year-old project on the west coast. He continued on his win ways and also became the 1978 Triple Crown Champion.

Throughout his career, he had actually a rivalry v the talented Alydar. The pair met 10 times, through Affirmed winning seven of the races and also Alydar win three. In the Triple Crown, Alydar placed second behind Affirmed in every race.

Affirmed became the an initial Thoroughbred to suppress the $2 million mark in winnings. After retiring indigenous racing, he went on to was standing at stud. The sired end 80 comb winners, consisting of Canadian Triple Crown winner Peteski.

12.American Pharoah (2015)

Jockey:Victor Espinoza
Trainers:Bob Baffert
Owner:Zayat Stables
Race Record:11-9-1-0

After 37 years, the longest drought in Triple Crown history, American Pharoah dominated by to win the title in 2015. Though he just ran 11 races in his career, the stunning bay took residence nine wins.

After placing fifth in his an initial race as a two-year-old, American Pharoah skyrocketed to success. That went top top to success all but one race in his three-year-old season. His Triple Crown win lugged on huge crowds and also lots that excitement, together it had actually been for this reason long because a horse had actually won the honor.

In addition to the Triple Crown, American Pharoah additionally won the Breeders’ Cup Classic. This made that the an initial and only equine to complete the “Grand Slam” the Thoroughbred racing.

After his mainly career top top the racetrack, American Pharoah retirement to stud at Ashford Stud. In 2019, monarch of Egypt came to be his very first winning offspring.

Also read: 10 amazing Facts about American Pharoah

13.Justify (2018)

Jockey:Mike Smith
Trainers:Bob Baffert
Owner:China horse Club, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, Head of levels Partners
Race Record:6-6-0-0

Justify came to be the very first horse in end 130 year to victory the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a two-year-old. Though his career just lasted six races, he winner all six of those starts.

Ridden through the well known jockey Mike Smith, the 2018 Kentucky Derby was just Justify’s third race. ~ his exciting victory, that went on to success the Preakness and also Belmont Stakes. That is the just Triple Crown winner to it is in undefeated in his whole career.

Bob Baffert, Justify’s trainer, had hopes the the only colt would follow in American Pharaoh’s footsteps to victory the cool Slam. However, one injury come his left front leg finished the hopes of the winning the exclusive title. The officially retired from racing in 2018.

See more: Enrique Iglesias And Anna Kournikova 2017, 403 Forbidden

Justify currently stands at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky. Though none of his offspring have actually raced yet, they display the same potential together their superstar sire.