Since 1978, the racing world has not seen a Triple Crown winner. The last great horse to achieve this feat, Affirmed, was also a chestnut youngster. Like I’ll Have Another, he was a force to be reckoned with and an early favorite to win.
Since Sir Barton galloped down the homestretch in first three times consecutively in 1919 to win the Triple Crown, horse trainers have been trying desperately to find “the one horse to beat them all” and have come up short.1930 saw Gallant Fox sweep all three races with ease. In 1932, the racing world witnessed a near-success in Burgoo King, a horse whose mysterious no-show at the Belmont Stakes has continued to confound racing fans. Omaha swept all three races in 1935, motivating racing fans back into the bleachers to cheer for their favorites again. After Omaha, 5 more Triple Crown winners galloped to victory, keeping the sport lively and captivating from 1937 to 1948. However, After Citation’s incredible win the racing world saw an unexpected dry spell from Triple Crown champions.
Seven horses tried and failed to secure the final gem in the crown, but came up short in the Belmont Stakes. It was not until 1973 that Secretariat clinched three races to revive interest in the sport, and was followed by Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978. After the back-to-back crowning, not a single horse managed to win all three races consecutively. Not one.
Affirmed. Image courtesy of Spiletta.com Seattle Slew. Image courtesy of SeattleSlew.net
As horse racing begins to fade into a thing of the past, can I’ll Have Another bring home to crown to revitalize the sport of kings? Despite being under investigation for drug violations and accusations against owner Paul Reddam’s company CashCall, we may be witnessing the second coming of Affirmed.