Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.
WHICH OF THE THREE TRIPLE CROWN RACES WAS RUN FIRST?
The term Triple Crown was bantered around in the mid-1920s by sport journalists, however only became the official name for three races, Kentucky Derby, Preakness STAKES and Belmont Stakes, in 1930 when DRF writer, Charles Hatton, coined it. As a result, the industry applied the term to any horse that won all three races. Horses who won all three races were included beginning with Sir Barton. Sir Barton completed the feat in 1919. Although over the years the races were run in different order currently the Triple Crown begins with the Kentucky Derby, followed in two weeks by the Preakness Stakes and followed in three weeks by the Belmont Stakes. The oldest of these three races is the Belmont Stakes which was first run in 1867. The second oldest is the Preakness Stakes which was first run in 1873. The youngest is the Kentucky Derby which was first run in 1875. However, the Derby is the one that has been run every year since 1875. The Preakness Stakes was not run from 1891 to 1893 and the Belmont Stakes was absent from 1911-1912.