Failed Triple Crowns (05/28/14)

John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
Failed Triple Crown attempts – what is the average finishing position in the Belmont Stakes for horses that won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness but failed to win the crown jewel of thoroughbred racing?



California Chrome is chasing the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. There have only been eleven Triple Crown winners due to the grueling schedule, three races in five weeks and at longer distances than most horses have run in their careers.

Twenty-three other horses, including California Chrome, have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness with a chance to achieve the greatest accomplishment in thoroughbred racing. Pending the results of “The Test of the Champion” on June 7th, all failed.

Three horses did not start the third leg of the Triple Crown, one, Big Brown in 2008, did not finish the race and the rest finished second or worse. On average, the horse with Triple Crown aspirations that did not win the Belmont finished third.

The following horses won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness but were beaten in the Belmont:

Year Horse Belmont Finish
1932 Burgoo King Did not start
1936 Bold Venture Did not start
1944 Pensive 2nd
1958 Tim Tam 2nd
1961 Carry Back 7th
1964 Northern Dancer 3rd
1966 Kauai King 4th
1968 Forward Pass 2nd
1969 Majestic Prince 2nd
1971 Canonero II 4th
1979 Spectacular Bid 3rd
1981 Pleasant Colony 3rd
1987 Alysheba 4th
1989 Sunday Silence 2nd
1997 Silver Charm 2nd
1998 Real Quiet 2nd
1999 Charismatic 3rd
2002 War Emblem 8th
2003 Funny Cide 3rd
2004 Smarty Jones 2nd
2008 Big Brown Did not finish
2012 I'll Have Another Did not start
2014 California Chrome ?

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