History of a Different Kind

The 2010 Triple Crown season has produced a couple of worthy winners with good stories behind them, but it also left us without a Triple Crown winner for yet another year.

Not only that, but for the second straight year we will also have a different winner in all three of the classics. And with Dublin now out, we won't even a have a single horse that has started in all three races. Disappointing, I know.

With Ice Box and First Dude the only two horses pointing toward the Belmont that have hit the board in the first two legs of Triple Crown, it got a few of us here at Blood-Horse to thinking: When was the last time nine different horses finished in the money in all three classic races?

After some diligent research by executive editor Evan Hammonds and especially TrueNicks sales and marketing manager Ian Tapp, we found out that it has been a while--a long while.

It last happened in 1926 when Bubbling Over, Baggenbaggage, Rock Man, Display, Blondin, Mars, Crusader, Espino, Haste all hit the board. The year before that it also happened when Flying Ebony, Captain Hal, Son of John, Coventry, Backbone, Almadel, American Flag, Dangerous, Swope were all in the money.

Since 1920 there have been 18 times when only one horse (in parenthesis) hit the board more than once:

  • 2006 (Bluegrass Cat, twice)
  • 2004 (Smarty Jones, 3x)
  • 1984 (Swale, twice)
  • 1982 (Gato Del Sol, twice)
  • 1981 (Pleasant Colony, 3x)
  • 1980 (Genuine Risk, 3x)
  • 1968 (Forward Pass, 3x)
  • 1955 (Nashua, 3x)
  • 1951 (Counterpoint, twice)
  • 1948 (Citation, 3x)
  • 1941 (Whirlaway, 3x)
  • 1933 (Head Play, twice)
  • 1932 (Burgoo King, twice)
  • 1930 (Gallant Fox, 3x)
  • 1929 (African, twice)
  • 1928 (Toro, twice)
  • 1927 (Whiskery, twice)
  • 1924 (Mad Play, twice)

The chances that both Ice Box and First Dude finish out of the money in the Belmont are probably not very good since they will likely go off as the two favorites, but it certainly could happen. And if it does, at least we will have a little bit of history made during this Triple Crown season.

It may not be what we wanted, but hey, at least it's something.

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