On Saturday we will find out if California Chrome will become the 12th horse in history to win the Triple Crown. California Chrome is an early 3-5 favorite to win this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, the last leg in the Triple Crown.
This will be the 31st time in horse racing history that a horse will enter the Belmont Stakes with a chance to win the Triple Crown. Eleven horses won all three races, the last coming in 1978 when Affirmed won the Triple Crown. There have been 19 times when the horse that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness lost the Belmont… more on that in a minute.
Note: In three instances, a horse won the first two races of the Triple Crown but did not run in the Belmont; Burgoo King (1932), Bold Venture (1936) and I’ll Have Another (2012).
As mentioned above, there have been 19 times where the horse that won the first two legs of the Triple Crown failed to win the Belmont Stakes. For the record, eight of those horses finished second, five finished third, three finished fourth, one finished seventh, one finished eighth, and one horse did not finish the race.
Let’s take a closer look at the 19 times a horse failed to win that final race of the Triple Crown. In simple terms, California Chrome will become the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown or the 20th to win the first two races and not win the third leg. If California Chrome does not win Saturday, what does history tell us about which horse might win?