A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 30, 2013
“The luckiest horse wins the Derby, the fastest horse the Preakness, the best horse the Belmont”

The United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing starts with the Kentucky Derby (at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky), then goes to the Preakness Stakes (at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland), and ends with the Belmont Stakes (at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York). “The luckiest horse wins the Kentucky Derby, the fastest horse wins the Preakness and the best horse wins the Belmont” is a popular saying about the Triple Crown races. The Preakness features the shortest track, so the fastest horse can win; the Belmont is the longest track, so it’s said that only the “best horse” can win.

“They say that to win the Kentucky Derby you need the luckiest horse. To win the Preakness Stakes you need the fastest horse and to win the Belmont Stakes—the third and final jewel in the American Triple Crown—you need the best sophomore” was cited in print in 1999. The United Kingdom has a similar saying with its Triple Crown races of the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Derby and the St. Leger Stakes. “The fastest horse wins the 2,000 Guineas, the luckiest horse wins the Derby, and the best horse wins the St Leger” was cited in print in 2006.


Wikipedia: Untied States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
In the United States, the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the “Triple Crown”, is a series of three Thoroughbred horse races for three-year-old horses run in May and early June of each year consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

Wikipedia: Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
United States Triple Crowns
Main articles: United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and American Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing
In the United States, the three races that make up the Triple Crown are:

1. Kentucky Derby, run over the 1 1⁄4-mile (2.0 km) dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky;
2. Preakness Stakes, run over the 1 3⁄16-mile (1.9 km) dirt track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland;
3. Belmont Stakes, run over the 1 1⁄2-mile (2.4 km) dirt track, the longest in thoroughbred racing, at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
(...)
United Kingdom
In England, where the term Triple Crown originated with West Australian’s three wins in 1853, it is made up of:

1. the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, run over 1 mile (1,609 meters) at Newmarket Racecourse in Newmarket, Suffolk;
2. the Epsom Derby, run over 1 mile 4 furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 metres) at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Epsom, Surrey;
3. the St. Leger Stakes, run over 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 132 yards (2,937 metres) at Town Moor in Doncaster, Yorkshire.

Las Vegas (NV) Sun
Columnist Ralph Siraco: Baffert stalks $5 million bonus
Ralph Siraco
Monday, Feb. 15, 1999 | 10:26 a.m.
They say that to win the Kentucky Derby you need the luckiest horse. To win the Preakness Stakes you need the fastest horse and to win the Belmont Stakes—the third and final jewel in the American Triple Crown—you need the best sophomore of its generation in what is billed the “Test of Champions.”

The Free Library
The Free Library > Date > 2006 > September > 6 > The Racing Post (London, England)
Horse Racing: IT AIN’T BROKE, SO STOP TRYING TO FIX IT; Critics of the St Leger are once again sharpening their knives for the annual savaging of the great race - but it has been going 230 years and there’s still plenty of life left in Britain’s oldest Classic.
Byline: STEVE DENNIS
IT USED to be said that ‘the fastest horse wins the 2,000 Guineas, the luckiest horse wins the Derby, and the best horse wins the St Leger’.

Pedigree Query Forum Index
Sam
Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:56 pm
(...)
My preference for the Belmont has to do with my preference for the distance and the track. I still adhere to the old adage of “The luckiest horse wins the Derby, the fastest wins the Preakness and the best horse wins the Belmont.” Unfortunately, the Belmont has become a race of attrition in the last few years, so the best horse is no longer the one that wins it. Some feel that is because the breed is unsound and can’t run that far anymore. I happen to believe it’s because people don’t know how to train horses to run that far anymore.

Bleacher Report
Preakness 2013: Does Post Position Matter at Pimlico?
By Brendan O’Meara (Featured Columnist) on May 16, 2013
There’s a saying in the Triple Crown that the luckiest horse wins the Kentucky Derby, the fastest horse wins the Preakness and the best horse wins the Belmont.

HorseRaceInsider.com
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Triple Crown? Who Needs It?!
(...)
Dale Romans said, ““I think Orb is going to win the Preakness, and I think he’ll win the Triple Crown. I’ve never said that about another horse.”

The chances for redemption in horse racing don’t come enough for the horse. Two and half weeks ago Orb was a monster, the best horse since Affirmed. Now, thanks to race tactics and an unfavorable pace scenario, he’s a mule. Will he run at his homecoming in the Belmont or wait until the Jim Dandy?

Now, it’s onto the Belmont Stakes. The luckiest horse already won the Derby. The fastest horse already won the Preakness. Who will be the best?

You see? The narrative is built right into that old adage about the Triple Crown series.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Thursday, May 30, 2013 • Permalink