Past Triple Crown winners ready to welcome a new one

Steve Cauthen says it’s long past time for a new horse to join the exclusive club of Triple Crown winners.

The jockey who rode Affirmed to a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 1978 believes horse racing needs a victory by American Pharoah in the Belmont on June 6 to boost flagging interest in the sport.

Since Affirmed’s sweep, 14 horses have won the first two legs only to fail or not run in the 1 ½-mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three races that are run over a five-week span.

Cauthen and other connections of Triple Crown winners believe this may be the year they get to induct another member into their club.