The Triple Crown comprises the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, and is contested each year beginning with the Kentucky Derby run on the first Saturday in May, and concluding five weeks later with the Belmont Stakes. The races are restricted to 3-year-olds, so a horse only gets one chance to win. Eleven horses have swept the Triple Crown, and none have done it since 1978.
Did you know that Gallant Fox is the only Triple Crown winner to sire a Triple Crown winner? He won it in 1930, and his son Omaha did it in 1935!
The Kentucky Derby
The most famous race in the United States, The Kentucky Derby has been held at Churchill Downs every year since 1875 when Aristides won the inaugural running. More money is bet on the Kentucky Derby than any other race in America - even people who may not play another race all year will often have a wager on the Derby.
Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack share the record for most Kentucky Derby wins by a jockey with five a piece, while Ben Jones leads all trainers with six victories between 1938 and 1952.
Orb won the 2013 Kentucky Derby, with jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III.
Did you know that Sham ran the second fastest Kentucky Derby ever, and didn't win the race? He ran second in 1973, the year Secretariat won it in a record time of 1:59.40.
The Preakness Stakes
Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore is home to the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. It is traditionally run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. The race is named in honor of the colt Preakness, who won the opening day feature at Pimlico when the track first opened in 1870.
Eddie Arcaro leads all jockeys with six wins in the race, while trainer R. Wyndham Walden captured the event seven times between 1875-1888.
Oxbox won the 2013 Preakness, with jockey Gary Stevens and trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Did you know that Smarty Jones has the largest margin of victory in the Preakness - he won by 11-1/2 lengths in 2004!
The Belmont Stakes
The final leg of the Triple Crown is also its longest - 1-1/2 miles over the massive Belmont Park. It's also the oldest Triple Crown race, with the first running of the Belmont Stakes in 1867. Few moments in sports are as exciting as when a horse enters the starting gate in the Belmont Stakes with a chance to win the Triple Crown.
Jim McLaughlin and Eddie Arcaro are tied for the most wins by a jockey with six apiece, while trainer James G. Rowe won eight in the 19th century.
Palace Malice won the 2013 Belmont Stakes. His jockey was Mike Smith, and his trainer Todd Pletcher.
Did you know that trainer Woody Stephens won the Belmont Stakes five times in succession? He was in the winner's circle from 1982-1986.