Triple Crown Newsreel: Citation, 1948

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By the time Citation made the starting gate of the 1948 Kentucky Derby, he had already proven to be a phenomenal racehorse, winning 14 of 16 starts, including eight for nine in becoming 2-year-old champion.  In addition to landing the fourth Triple Crown of the 1940′s, Citation ended his 3-year-old campaign with 19 victories from 20 starts and a 15-race win streak.  He was an overwhelming choice as Horse of the Year.

The following year, Citation won a 16th consecutive race, a streak among major North American stakes horses that would stand until the mid-1990′s, when equaled by Cigar.  Citation retired at age six as the first American racehorse to earn $1 million.

Jim McKay chronicles Citation’s dominating Triple Crown performance in a segment from ESPN’s Jewels of the Triple Crown.

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  • Barry Irwin

    If Citation raced in the 2012 Derby, there would have been 19 others in the gate, instead of only 5 including his own entry mate, because just being in the Derby has replaced being in the Derby with a contender. There were only 9 runners in the English Derby this year. The Kentucky Derby is a rousing success in terms of encouraging participation. It is a shame, though, that our Derby is polluted with horses that don’t really belong.

    • LauraS3514

       Canonero II.  Before the race the experts said he didn’t belong.  It took him setting the stakes record in the Preakness before he got any respect at all.  Of course what few knew before the Derby was that not only had he run at 10f he had also run very well against older horses too.  Under today’s rules he wouldn’t have gotten into the gate at Churchill. He wasn’t a fluke either: at four he set a world record when he defeated Riva Ridge. 

      That being said, yes, too many who enter the gate for the Derby don’t belong there.  But we never know…

  • Barry Irwin

    If Citation raced in the 2012 Derby, there would have been 19 others in the gate, instead of only 5 including his own entry mate, because just being in the Derby has replaced being in the Derby with a contender. There were only 9 runners in the English Derby this year. The Kentucky Derby is a rousing success in terms of encouraging participation. It is a shame, though, that our Derby is polluted with horses that don’t really belong.

  • Brian Appleton

    Thank you for this…It’s awe-inspiring to see footage of Citation!

  • Brian Appleton

    Thank you for this…It’s awe-inspiring to see footage of Citation!

  • Ida Lee

    Citation! Now, there’s a name for a Champion!! Beautiful, great athlete. Can’t ask for much more…Thank you so much for your series on Triple Crown winners. It’s makes for great reading and viewing.

  • Ida Lee

    Citation! Now, there’s a name for a Champion!! Beautiful, great athlete. Can’t ask for much more…Thank you so much for your series on Triple Crown winners. It’s makes for great reading and viewing.

  • Northerndancer

    Barry, I agree with your comment. Since I grew up in a thoroughbred horse family (Dad trainer & Mom backside worker), I always heard about a horse called “Citation.” Dad & Mom saw him win the Triple Crown. He looks amazing! What a racehorse!

  • Northerndancer

    Barry, I agree with your comment. Since I grew up in a thoroughbred horse family (Dad trainer & Mom backside worker), I always heard about a horse called “Citation.” Dad & Mom saw him win the Triple Crown. He looks amazing! What a racehorse!

  • LauraS3514

     Canonero II.  Before the race the experts said he didn’t belong.  It took him setting the stakes record in the Preakness before he got any respect at all.  Of course what few knew before the Derby was that not only had he run at 10f he had also run very well against older horses too.  Under today’s rules he wouldn’t have gotten into the gate at Churchill. He wasn’t a fluke either: at four he set a world record when he defeated Riva Ridge. 

    That being said, yes, too many who enter the gate for the Derby don’t belong there.  But we never know…

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