The U.S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (aka The Triple Crown) is the highest honor a race horse can attain. To win the Triple Crown a 3 year old horse must win all three legs or jewels in the series. The three races are The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont Stakes.
In 1919 Sir Barton became the first racehorse to win all three races. A this point the term Triple Crown was not yet being used. 1948 Sir Barton was officially recognized as the first U.S. Triple Crown winner.
The phrase “Triple Crown” was used for the first time in 1930 after Gallant Fox won all three of these races. The term was coined by sportswriter Charles Hatton of the New York Times.
With Citation’s win in 1948, Eddie Arcaro became the only jockey to win two Triple Crowns. He got his first, seven years earlier, with his win in 1941 aboard Whirlaway.
In 1977 Seattle Slew became the first and so far only horse to win the Triple Crown while undefeated.
The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978. The current Triple Crown drought is the longest ever beating the 25 year span from 1948 to 1973 when Secretariat won.