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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOW YOU KNOW

June 06, 1997|BILL CHRISTINE

There are other Triple Crowns in thoroughbred racing aside from the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

England's three-race series for 3-year-olds was first swept by West Australian in 1853, and they've been running a Triple Crown in Canada since 1959.

Nijinsky II, Canadian-bred and American-owned, became the 15th and most recent winner of the English Triple Crown in 1970, he was the first to win the three races since the Aga Khan's Bahram in 1935.

Since 1970, only one horse--Nashwan in 1989--has won the first two races in the series, the one-mile Two Thousand Guineas and the 1 1/2-mile Epsom Derby. Nashwan didn't run in the series finale, the St. Leger Stakes, which is about 1 3/4 miles.

The English Triple Crown is run over three grass courses, starting in early May and not ending until early September.

In Ontario, Canada, the Triple Crown spans 1 1/2 months this year, starting June 29 with the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate on dirt at Woodbine near Toronto. The other races, both on grass, are the 1 1/2-mile Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie in Rexdale on July 27 and the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Stakes back at Woodbine on Aug. 17.

New Providence swept the first Canadian Triple Crown in 1959, and there have been five champions since, the most recent Peteski in 1993.

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