Triple Crowns all over the world

by Art Parker

Operating on a new schedule, The American Triple Crown of 2020 has recorded only one event. The Belmont Stakes, usually run at 1 ½ miles and usually the last of the Triple Crown races, was held on June 20, 2020.

Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg, won the 1 1/8 miles journey without difficulty and stamped himself as the top three year old in the nation. The Kentucky Derby will be September 5th, and the Preakness will be October 3rd.

There is no official Filly Triple Crown for fillies. There was a version that featured the big filly races the same day as the Triple Crown races. Those races, all on the dirt, are: (A) Kentucky Oaks, run over 1 1⁄8 miles at Churchill Downs, (B) Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, run over 1 1⁄8 miles at Pimlico Race Course, and (C)  Acorn Stakes, run over 1 mile at Belmont Park.

Davona Dale won the three races in 1979, and she is the only filly with this accomplishment.

Due to the change in the Triple Crown schedule in 2020 only the Acorn Stakes has been run thus far. The Bob Baffert trained Gamine was an impressive winner by 18 lengths setting a stakes record.

Canada also has a Triple Crown for Canadian bred thoroughbreds. The races are: (A) The Queen’s Plate, run over 1 ¼ miles on the main track at Woodbine, (B) The Prince of Wales Stakes run over 1 3/16th miles on the main track at Fort Erie, and (C) The Breeders Stakes run over 1 1/2 miles on the turf at Woodbine. There have been a dozen winners of the Canadian Triple Crown and the last winner was Wando in 2003. The Canadian Triple Crown is getting a late start in 2020. The Queen’s Plate will September 12th, The Prince of Wales will be September 29th and The Breeder’s Stakes October 24th.

Across the pond in Great Britain, a Triple Crown dates back to the mid-1800s. The races of the English Triple Crown, all on turf are: (A) The 2,000 Guineas Stakes, run over a mile at Newmarket Racecourse in Newmarket, Suffolk, (B) The Epsom Derby, run over 1½ miles at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Epsom, Surrey, and (C) The St. Leger Stakes, run over 1 ¾ miles at Town Moor in Doncaster, Yorkshire.

Fifteen horses have captured the English Triple Crown. The most recent – and only winner since World War II – was Northern Dancer’s much heralded son Nijinsky II, in 1970. Since Nijinsky only Nashwan (1989), Sea the Stars (2009), and Camelot (2012) have won both the Guineas and the Derby. Between Reference Point in 1987 and Camelot in 2012, no Derby winner has entered the St. Leger.

Only the Guineas has been run thus far in 2020. The winner was Kameko, who was bred at Calumet Farm and sired by Kitten’s Joy. The Epsom Derby will be July 4th and the St. Leger will be September 12th.

The Irish Triple Crown races are all on the turf and all run at the Curragh. The races are: (A) The Irish 2,000 Guineas is run over one mile, (B) The Irish Derby is run over 1 ½ miles, and (C) The Irish St. Leger, which open to older horses also, is run over 1 ¾ miles. Only two horses have won the Irish Triple Crown – Museum in 1935 and Windsor Slipper in 1942. The 2020 Irish Derby has been held and the winner was Santiago, who collected trainer Aidan O’Brien’s 14th Irish Derby win. O’Brien took the Guineas with Peaceful. The Irish St. Leger is scheduled for September 13th.

The French Triple Crown races, all on turf, are: (A) Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) is run over a mile at Longchamp, (B) Prix du Jockey Club is run at approximately 1 ¼ miles at Chantilly, and ( C ) Grand Prix de Paris is run 1 ½ miles at Longchamp. Only two horses have won the French Triple Crown – Zut in 1879 and Perth in 1899.

Victor Ludorum won the Guineas on May 11. and the race was held at Deauville since Longchamp was closed due to COVID-19. The Prix du Jockey Club will be July 5th. The Grand Prix de Paris will be July 14th.

The Australian Triple Crown races are all on the turf. The races are: (A) The Randwick Guineas run over one mile at Randwick Race Course, (B) Rosehill Guineas run over 1 ¼ miles at Rosehill Gardens Race Course and (C) the Australian Derby run over 1 ½ miles.

The Australian Triple Crown is complete for 2020. Shadow Hero was victorious in the Randwick Guineas. Castelvecchio captured the Rosehill Guineas and Quick Thinker won the Derby.

The Japanese Triple Crown races are all on the turf. The races are (A) The Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) run over 1 ¼ miles at Nakayama Racecourse, (B) The Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby – ) run over 1 ¼ miles at Tokyo Racecourse and (C) The Kikuka Sho (Japanese St.Leger) run over 1 7/8 miles, at Kyoto Racecourse. Seven horses have won the Japanese Triple Crown. The last winner of the Japanese Triple Crown was Orfevre in 2011.

The Japanese Triple Crown could easily be captured in 2020. Contrail has won both the 2020 Guineas and the 2020 Derby. The Japanese St. Leger is all that remains and that will be October 25th

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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