Most horse enthusiasts, gamblers and horse racing lovers know exactly what the Triple Crown is. It’s three exciting races spread throughout May and early June – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. What most people don’t know is how the Triple Crown came to be. Let’s take a look back down history lane and learn how Triple Crown betting all started. And at the end, thank those people who started it that’s why we are enjoying betting and watching on Triple Crown today.
Charles Hatton, a writer for the Daily Racing Form, is the man commonly credited with originating the term in 1930. He began using the term after Gallant Fox won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in 1930. However, the New York Times also deserves credit for the term as well, as they first used it in 1923.
In 1923, these three races were not yet completely associated with each other, after all, the Preakness was run prior to the Derby at this time. It was after the Preakness in 1923 when The Times wrote that “Thomas J. Healey had Walter J. Salmon’s Preakness winner, Vigil, and his owner wired today that he would be here Friday to see his colt try to capture his second classic in the triple crown of the American turf.” “Here” referred to Louisville, Kentucky.
Later, in the ’30s, The Times columnist Bryan Field would begin to regularly use the term. Field wrote for The Times from 1930 to 1944 and later became the manager of Delaware Park as well as a well-known race caller in the early days of horseracing on television.
When Gallant Fox was a contender in the Belmont, Field wrote that the idea of the “Triple Crown” was reached due to the prominence of these three races over all other Spring horse races for three year old Thoroughbreds.
At the time, however, the concept of the “Triple Crown” was still in its infancy. No other New York newspapers referred to the races in this manner and it wasn’t until 1935 when Omaha won the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont that these three races were regularly referred to as the “Triple Crown.”
Although newspapers, race writers and journalists resisted the phrase and the notion of a “Triple Crown,” one horse changed it all in 1937. His name was War Admiral. This was a triumphant time for Field and The Times as talk of the “Triple Crown” spread and has continued for over 70 years now.
Who will be the next winner of the Triple Crown? This is an age old question that is asked each and every…