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While the Kentucky Derby is, by far, the most popular horse race in the entire country, horseracing enthusiasts know about the Triple Crown wherein the Kentucky Derby is just one leg. These three races are all open to three-year-old horses. One of the most notable achievements for a thoroughbred is to win all three events and be part of the Triple Crown Club. The term Triple Crown was actually coined in England during the middle of the 19th century. Just to prevent any sort of confusion, countries that allow horseracing have their own definition of a Triple Crown. However, in the United States of America, the Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Kentucky Derby
Opening the Triple Crown is the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Held during the first Saturday of the month of May, this race is a culmination of the entire Kentucky Derby Festival. This first leg is also known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” or “The Run for the Roses”. Since it first opened in 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been held annually unlike the two other events which went on hiatuses at some point. This dirt track measures 2.0 kilometers after being changed from 2.4 kilometers in 1896.

Preakness Stakes
The second leg of the American Triple Crown is the Preakness Stakes which is held at the Pimlico Race Course which can be found in Baltimore, Maryland. While the winner of the Kentucky Derby is draped with a blanket of red roses, the Preakness Stakes champion receives a blanket made of Viking daisies. The daisies are decorated so that they resemble the state’s official flower, the Black-eyed Susans. Because of this, race is also known as “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans”. Although trailing behind the Kentucky Derby when it comes to the number of attendees the Preakness Stakes rounds up more viewers than other major horse racing events.

Belmont Stakes
Because this race is held at Belmont Park which measures a distance of 2.4 kilometers, Belmont Stakes is the longest race in the entire US Triple Crown. Because of this, the race is termed as “The Test of the Champion” because of the stamina required to win Belmont Stakes. This grade I stakes horse race is based in Elmont, New York and is held on a Saturday between June 5 and June 11. The first ever Belmont Stakes race was held at The Bronx in 1866 and was organized by Leonard Jerome, a stock market speculator. The inaugural race was financed by August Belmont, Sr., on whose honor the race was named after. While the two other races featured a blanket of flowers, Belmont Stakes is known for its August Belmont Trophy.

Joseph Sanderson is a horse racing enthusiast for 15 years. He writes several interesting articles about Kentucky Derby. Learn more and visit,