all in The Sport

Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and Preakness Stakes winner Justify galloped 1 1/2 miles May 26 at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Humberto Gomez in the saddle, as the undefeated colt continued his preparat

The U.S. Triple Crown in Thoroughbred racing has been swept by only 12 horses in the history of the sport. It takes a special racehorse to win the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby, the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes, and the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes in a five-week stretch during the spring of a 3-year-old campaign.

Let's take a look back at the 12 superstars in this slideshow below who were able to etch their names in the history books as Triple Crown winners.

They keep looking for the signs; signs that the remarkable feats Justify has been pulling off are starting to take their toll. Logic says they should, because when a horse who is still just baby is asked to pack five races into about a 90-day span — including two of the toughest tests in his sport — at some point fatigue should start to make itself known.

The sports world is filled with events that are regarded as storybook tales. They are the times when heartwarming stories unfold as if they are scripted and not chapters of everyday life where skill, talent, and luck determine the outcome.

The reality, of course, is that storybook finishes are simply for storybooks. As much it would be so fitting or grand for something to happen, that alone is not enough reason to alter fate.

That lesson was painfully taught in 1999 when a 3-year-old colt named Charismatic chased a Triple Crown sweep.

Making the Grade, which will run through the 2018 Belmont Stakes, focuses on the winners or top performers of the key races, usually from the previous weekend, who could impact the Triple Crown. We’ll be taking a close look at impressive winners and evaluating their chances to win classic races based upon ability, running style, connections (owner, trainer, jockey) and pedigree.

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