The last three Triple Crown winners came after a break of 25 years — but then like the 1940s, the 70s saw three winners within the decade.
Secretariat – 1973
With his 31 length lead in the Belmont, Secretariat captured the imagination of the nation. Here was a horse that decisively won the Triple Crown at a time when some people feared it was a feat that would no be accomplished again.
Secretariat’s remarkable history started with a coin toss between Penny Chenery and Ogden Phipps — part of an agreement to enable outside mares to be bred to Bold Ruler. Phipps won the toss but chose a weanling filly instead of the unborn Secretariat!
Seattle Slew – 1977
Seattle Slew is the only Triple Crown winner who came to the race undefeated. Quite a feat for a horse that was nicknamed “Baby Huey” as a two year old because he was a bit clumsy. He was purchased as a yearling for just $17,000.
Seattle Slew was known for his “War Dance” moves on the way to the starting gate where he danced on his toes.
Slew’s Kentucky Derby win was all the more remarkable because he veered coming out of the starting gate and almost unseated his jockey. His recovered and, even though he was blocked by a wall of horses, managed to work his way through the field.
This video cannot be embedded but shows all three races.
Affirmed – 1978
Affirmed was the last of the Triple Crown winners and is known for his rivalry with Alydar who is the only horse to have finished second in all three Triple Crown races.
The two horses dueled throughout their career and are now, ironically, stabled next to each other.