SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Saturday, as Justify raced towards history at Belmont Park, fans of Notre Dame football were likely cheering for the horse to win the Belmont Stakes and achieve the 13th Triple Crown in the history of horse racing – a feat he accomplished. So why would Notre Dame root for Justify and a Triple Crown? Because historical horseplay makes the Fighting Irish play their best.
In a bizarre trend dating back to 1930, in years horse racing sees a Triple Crown – Notre Dame football enjoys a successful season.
Five (1930, 1943, 1946, 1973 and 1977) of the 11 national championships in Fighting Irish football history have come in years there’s been a Triple Crown winner. In fact, Notre Dame averages nine wins per season following a Triple Crown – and has only lost 10 games, total, those 12 years. In 2015, when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the Fighting Irish went 10-and-3 – falling to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Notre Dame plays at Virginia Tech October 6th.