A horse named Aristides won the very first Kentucky Derby way back in 1875. The race has been run every year since.
The last horse to win the Triple Crown of Horse Racing (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes) was Affirmed in 1978. Funny Cide in 2003 and Smarty Jones in 2004 each had Triple Crown “near misses”, winning two of the three races.
Cigar won 19 of the 33 races he entered earning nearly $10 million, more prize money than any other horse in history.
Harness racing has its own versions of the Triple Crown. The three races that make up the Trotting Triple Crown are the Yonkers Trot, the Hambletonian, and the Kentucky Futurity. The Pacing Triple Crown is comprised of the Cane Pace, the Little Brown Jug, and Messenger Stakes.
Bill Shoemaker won 8,833 races in his 42-year career, which was the most of any jockey in history until Laffit Pincay Jr. passed him in December, 1999. Shoemaker was inducted in the National Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1958.
Julie Krone was the top money-winning female jockey of the year 13 times in her career.