Slideshow
ELMONT, NY - JUNE 05:  Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, with exercise rider Willie Delgado up, trains on the main track at Belmont Park on June 5, 2014  in Elmont,  New York   He is scheduled to race for the Triple Crown in the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) ELMONT, NY - JUNE 05: Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, with exercise rider Willie Delgado up, trains on the main track at Belmont Park on June 5, 2014 in Elmont, New York He is scheduled to race for the Triple Crown in the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)  

From Sir Barton To Affirmed: Triple Crown Winners Throughout The Years [SLIDESHOW]

With the Belmont coming up and California Chrome coming off his Preakness and Kentucky Derby wins, everyone’s wondering if he’ll be the first racehorse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown. Here’s the company California Chrome is trying to join.

Click an image below for larger version.
  • The OG Triple Crown winner in 1919, Sir Barton. wasn't even supposed to be the pacemaker in the Preakness for his stablemate Billy Kelly (who?). Instead, he led the field of 12 the entire race and won by five lengths. He also won a fourth race, the Withers Cup, while winning the big three. He won his four races in a span of 32 days.
  • Gallant Fox (1930) was the horse for whom the term "Triple Crown" was coined. Despite being the favorite in both the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby, he was not the favorite in the Belmont. But that didn't matter: He handily won the race and entered the annals of the sport. As a stud, he sired two future Horses of the Year, including a future Triple Crown winner. (Photo credit: drf.com)
  • Gallant Fox's son, Omaha (1935), won the same award as his father a mere five years later, making it the first time a Triple Crown winner sired another Triple Crown winner. He gained the awe of Damon Runyon of Guys and Dolls fame and won the Kentucky Derby by a length-and-a-half without his jockey having to use the whip. 

(Photo Credit: jkhg.org)
  • The son of famous horse Man 'o' War, War Admiral (1937), is forever tied to his nephew Seabiscuit despite having the greater accomplishments (save for a Tobey McGuire movie). War Admiral and Seabiscuit only raced one time, at the 1938 Pimlico Special, with Seabiscuit winning by four lengths and breaking the track record.

(Photo Credit: drf.com)
  • The first of two Triple Crown winners won by jockey Eddie Arcaro, Whirlaway (1941) raced an astonishing 60 races in his career. But he only narrowly won 1941 Horse of the Year, beating Alsab by five votes.

(Photo Credit: horsewebsites.org)
  • Count Fleet (1943) had a slow start to his career as a two-year-old. But once he entered three-year-old races (Triple Crown contention), he dominated -- never losing a race. He won the Belmont stakes by 25 lengths, a record that stood until Secretariat in 1973. He also received 135 of 143 votes for Horse of the Year, an unprecedented amount for the time.

(Photo Credit: exploreuk.uky.edu)
  • Assault (1946) was a Cinderella story from the start. He had an injured hoof and developed a limp to deal with the pain. He was also born on a cow farm with quarter horses in Texas (as opposed to a dedicated horse farm in Kentucky, where the rest of the Triple Crown winners came from). But the Club-footed Comet, as he was known, didn't come up short. Eddie Arcaro raced him during his four-year-old season as well. Unfortunately, Assault was apparently sterile and never stood stud, instead racing until he was seven and retiring.
  • The second horse Eddie Arcaro won the Triple Crown racing, Citation (1948) is one of three horses to win 16 consecutive races and to win $1 million dollars. He also sired several very successful horses, including 1956 Preakness winner Fabius. He's also one of only three horses on ESPN's Best Athletes of the 20th Century list.

(Photo Credit: equinetaxgroup.com)
  • The Big Kahuna of horse racing, Secretariat (1973) is a household name. He ranked in at 35 on ESPN's Best Athletes of the 20th Century list and is No. 2 on The Blood-Horse's Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century (behind only Man 'o' War). He still holds the records at the Kentucky Derby and Belmont, where he beat Count Fleet's margin of victory record at 35 lengths. Many say he should hold the record at the Preakness due to a faulty hand-time, a controversy that stands to this day.

(Photo Credit: secretariat.com)
  • Seattle Slew (1977) was a pop star in racing. Joe Hirsch of the Daily Racing Form said, "Every time he ran he was an odds-on favorite, and the response to his presence on the racetrack, either for a morning workout or a major race, was electric. 'Slewmania' was a virulent and widespread condition." He's also got a solid list of progeny, including being the great-great grandfather of Kentucky Derby hopeful California Chrome.

(Photo Credit: championsgallery.com)
  • The last horse to win the Triple Crown (until this maybe weekend?), Affirmed (1978) came from a life of crime. His name supposedly comes from when his owner Louis E. Wolfson's conviction on securities fraud was affirmed by an appellate court. But it made no difference. Affirmed won the Triple Crown and breeding rights were sold for a record $14.4 million. His progeny have made in excess of $40 million.

(Photo Credit: jockeysite.com)