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    2014 Triple Crown

    The Triple Crown of horse racing is one of the most electric sporting events of the year. It’s a trio of races that take place in May and June for the best three-year-old thoroughbreds in the world. The three jewels consist of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. To win one of them is as prestigious a victory as one can have in horse racing. To win all three in one year and claim the Triple Crown, that secures the victor a spot in horse racing lore.

    As you can imagine, it’s a tough feat to accomplish. Only 11 times in the history of the sport has there been a Triple Crown winner and there hasn’t been one in a while. The last to champion the cause was Affirmed who won the three-race parlay in 1978. There’s been a slew of close calls since as 18 horses have won two of the three races. Big Brown was the latest to do so, winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in impressive fashion in 2008 before failing to finish the Belmont Stakes.

    Winning the Triple Crown has become more challenging over the years. The original challenge is to win three races that have different lengths. The Kentucky Derby is the mid-range (1 ¼ mile), the Preakness (1 3/16 mile) is the shortest and the Belmont, which is known as the “Test of the Champion” is the longest (1 ½ mile). Different horses thrive at difference lengths, so winning at all three is a feat in and of itself. However, nowadays, trainers insert fresh horses into the starting gates at The Preakness and The Belmont to challenge the Kentucky Derby winner. That makes it even tougher to win the Triple Crown. One horse has to win three times in just over a month while going against rested competition.

    But who said life was easy? That’s why there’s only been 11 Triple Crown winners and that’s why achieving such a feat is so highly regarded.

    This year’s Kentucky Derby will take place on May 3rd. That’ll be followed up by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later on May 17th and the Belmont just over a month later on June 7th.