The term “Triple Crown” gets thrown around every May. Although every year there are many hopefuls, the Triple Crown winners list is exclusive. Taking home this honor demands strength, determination, and one seriously talented thoroughbred race horse. Here’s the list of the 12 horses to hold a Triple Crown title.

Triple Crown Winners

But first, what is the Triple Crown?

Before you can be impressed by the pure athleticism it takes these animals to win a Triple Crown, you need to know what it’s all about. The Triple Crown is made up of three different triple crown races, all of which are held in the same month. Horses have to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes to take home the crown.

Sadly, no fillies have ever won the Triple Crown.

If you think there are not very many horses who hold the title, listen to this. Only one trainer has ever won the Triple Crown twice. His name is James E. Fitzsimmons, and he’s a legend. But enough about humans, let’s get to the horses.

12 Triple Crown winners

Sir Barton

In 1919, Sir Barton was the first horse to win the Triple Crown.

Gallant Fox

Over 20 years later, Gallant Fox followed Sir Barton’s win in 1930. He was the first Triple Crown winner trained by Fitzsimmons.

Omaha

After 15 more years in the horse training business, Fitzsimmons produced another winner in 1935.

War Admiral

The son of Man O’War, War Admiral, had some big hoofprints to fill, but he did. In 1937, he became one of the few Triple Crown winners.

Whirlaway

Raised at Calumet Farm, Whirlaway was born to Kentucky greatness. He won in 1941.

Count Fleet

Count Fleet certainly had some sweet, fast feet. He proved it in 1943 when he became another one of the Triple Crown winners.

Assault

The 1940s was the golden age of Triple Crown winners. Assault made the title his own in 1946.

Citation

An assault usually results in a Citation… Get it? Anyway, Citation won the Triple Crown in 1948. Ending a pretty good streak in Triple Crown history.

Secretariat

Race fanatics were ready for another Triple Crown winner, then along trotted Secretariat. In 1973, he set the record for the fastest time of all the Triple Crown winners, and he still hasn’t been beaten to this day.

Seattle Slew

Seattle Slew’s career only lasted two seasons, but that was enough time to make history. He won the Triple Crown in 1977, the same year he retired.

Affirmed

Not only did Affirmed win the Triple Crown in 1978 but he was also the first of the thoroughbred race horse Triple Crown winners to win over $2 million.

American Pharoah

Two sweet years ago, American Pharoah was the Triple Crown winner 2015. Who knows, maybe this will be another lucky decade?

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