2019 Belmont Stakes: Can There Be a Triple Crown Winner?

The third and final leg of thoroughbred horse racing's legendary Triple Crown is Saturday at the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. Unfortunately, this year, there will be no Triple Crown, as two different horses already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

Only one horse running in the Belmont Stakes won one of the previous Triple Crown events. War of Will, who won the Preakness Stakes on May 18, will be running Saturday. War of Will was also one of the horses caught up in the Kentucky Derby controversy, which came when one of the other jockey's filed the objection of Maximum Security's victory. In the end, Country House was declared the victor.

Country House did not participate in the Preakness Stakes, automatically guaranteeing there would be no Triple Crown winner this year. The horse is also not running in the Belmont Stakes and neither is Maximum Security.

The last time horse racing saw a Triple Crown winner was just last year, when Justify won all three races. Before Justify, there was American Pharoah in 2015. There have only been 13 Triple Crown winners in total since the first in 1919. There was a historic drought from 1978 until 2015, the longest gap in Triple Crown history. Before that, the longest drought was the 25-year gap between Citation in 1948 and Secretariat in 1973.

There are 10 horses racing in the Belmont Stakes this year, and War of Will (9/2) and Tacitus (5/2) are considered the favorites, reports CBS Sports. The other horses racing are Joevia (15/1); Everfast (12/1); Master Fencer (11/1); Tax (11/1); Bourbon War (7/1); Spinoff (11/1); Sir Winston (7/1); and Intrepid Heart (5/1).

War of Will is trained by Mark Casse and owned by Gary Barber. His jockey will be Tyler Gaffalione, who raced War of Will at the Preakness.

“He’s a beautiful horse with a wonderful conformation and a pedigree that’s probably one of the best in North America,” Casse told Newsday of War of Will. “He just has class, he’s laid-back, he knows his job and he does it.”

War of Will finished in seventh place at the Kentucky Derby. He was pushed back after Maximum Security veered into other lanes during the final stretch. Cassie said he was just happy that War of Will and Gaffalione did not fall.

“I was so thankful after the race that War of Will was fine,” Casse told Newsday. “If he had gone down, he could have taken four or five horses with him. I was so thankful nobody got hurt that I didn’t even care about losing the race.”


The Belmont Stakes stars at 6:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images