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Assault Racing News
The Triple Crown is a series of three thoroughbred horse races for three-year-old horses, which take place in May and early June of each year. The Triple Crown of horse racing is considered one of the most difficult accomplishments in horse racing, and possibly all of sports championships. The grueling schedule requires a three year old horse to win the Kentucky Derby, then two weeks later win the Preakness Stakes, and then three weeks later win the Belmont Stakes. In all of racing history, only thirteen horses have achieved the Triple Crown.
By Vance Hanson
One of only three Triple Crown winners sired by a Kentucky Derby winner, Assault had one of the longer racing careers (42 starts) of the 13 series sweepers. Diagnosed as sterile after his initial retirement at age five, he was returned to training and raced until the age of seven.
Bred and raced by Robert Kleberg’s King Ranch of Texas, Assault captured one stakes at age two. He kicked off his 3-year-old campaign with back-to-back stakes wins, including the Wood Memorial, but finished an even fourth in the Derby Trial just four days before the Kentucky Derby.
Although he had suffered a permanently damaged hoof in a paddock accident as a young horse, Assault rarely let that or other ailments affect him. He won the Kentucky Derby by a record-equaling eight lengths, held on to win the Preakness by a neck, and then captured the Belmont Stakes by a more comfortable margin of three lengths, all in the span of four weeks.
The son of Bold Venture endured a six-race losing streak in the summer and fall of 1946, but bounced back to beat older horses twice and was voted Horse of the Year. He was a top-level 4-year-old, too, winning his first five starts, but lost a match race against the famed gelding Armed by a lopsided eight lengths in the fall of 1947.
Trained by Max Hirsch, Assault won only one more stakes, the 1949 Brooklyn Handicap, before retiring for a second and final time in 1950.
Stakes Win History
|1st||Brooklyn Handicap||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||Jul 2, 1949|
|1st||Butler Handicap||1 3/16 Miles||Dirt||Jul 12, 1947|
|1st||Brooklyn Handicap||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||Jul 21, 1947|
|1st||Suburban Handicap||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||May 30,1947|
|1st||Dixie Handicap||1 3/16 Miles||Dirt||May 9, 1947|
|1st||Grey Lag Handicap||1 1/8 Miles||Dirt||May 3, 1947|
|1st||Westchester Handicap||1 3/16 Miles||Dirt||Nov 9, 1946|
|1st||Pimlico Special||1 3/16 Miles||Dirt||Nov 1, 1946|
|1st||Dwyer||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||Jun 15,1946|
|1st||Belmont Stakes||1 1/2 Miles||Dirt||Jun 1, 1946|
|1st||Preakness Stakes||1 3/16 Miles||Dirt||May 11,1946|
|1st||Kentucky Derby||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||May 4, 1946|
|1st||Wood Memorial||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||Apr 20, 1946|
|1st||Expenses Free Handicap||6 F||Dirt||Apr 9, 1946|
|1st||Flash||5 1/2 F||Dirt||Aug 6,1945|
*Morning line odds are an independent handicapper’s estimate and do not necessarily reflect the actual chance each horse will win