Ellis Park Racing has been around since we first open the racetrack doors in 1922. We have seen all sorts of amazing racehorses come and go, and some of those horses have gone to compete in the illustrious Triple Crown horse racing series.

For decades, horse trainers and horse breeder’s ultimate goal in their sport is to create a Triple Crown winning horse. Much like how winning a gold medal in the Olympics is the highest level of athletic achievement for humans, the Triple Crown is essentially the gold medal for horses.

Winning the award not only fetches an extraordinary high purse but the horse’s value as a stud skyrockets when it retires. The horse itself is commemorated for the rest of horse racing history.  Additionally, their names become examples of excellent skill and breed. For example, whenever someone compares a horse as the next Secretariat or Citation, it signifies the horses promise for greatness.

But how did this long-standing tradition come to be?

History of the Triple Crown

The definition of Triple Crown is an award or honor for winning a group of three important events in a sport. It can be used for sports such as rugby and running. The most popular sport it is applied to is live horse racing.

The term Triple Crown came to use for live horse racing sometime during 1930. The man credited for using the term was a Daily racing Form writer named Charles Hatton.

The three horse races that comprise the Triple Crown are the Grade 1 stakes races, the Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby.

Before the creation of the Triple Crown series, the three races were held at different, uncoordinated times. After 1931, it followed a set order of the Kentucky Derby first, the Preakness Stakes second and the Belmont Stakes last. The respective horse race tracks annually hold these horse races in the months of May and June.

It was not until 1950 that the Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioned an actual Triple Crown Trophy. It is structured as a silver, three-sided vase, with the three corners representing a crown’s three jewels.  

Today they are recognized as the pinnacle in American horse racing and is one of America’s largest sport-related social gathering.    

The Place of Horse Racing Champions 



The Kentucky Derby of this year has already passed with the thoroughbred race horse Nyquist.  He will compete along with others in the Preakness and Belmont Stake held May 21, and June 11th, respectively.

In the meantime, you can check out Triple Crown champions in the making at Ellis Park Racing.  We provide live horse racing and historical horse racing machine for all sorts of wagering thrills. Contact us and raise the stakes today.