Those who like EZ Horse Betting and hope for a Triple Crown horseracing champion will have to wait for another year. The winner of the 2017 Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming, failed to capture the second leg of the Triple Crown series. Longshot runner Cloud Computing surprised bettors by defeating a 10-horse field in the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
The race shaped up as many expected in its early stages. Always Dreaming and Classic Empire chose to stalk the pace in preparation for a late run at the early speed. As these horses squared off in the stretch run, Always Dreaming began to fade. Some had questioned the ability of the Todd Pletcher trained Derby winner heading into the Preakness. With the colt fading out of contention, it appeared that Classic Empire would live up to the expectations many had for the horse in the Kentucky Derby.
It seemed that Classic Empire had a clear path to the wire and a Preakness Stakes victory. This was not to be, however, as Cloud Computing took over the tiring leader in deep stretch to notch the win. Cloud Computing was largely unheralded coming into the Preakness Stakes and mostly ignored by bettors at the windows. This provided a nice payout for those who chose to back the horse for the win.
Coming into the Preakness Stakes, the major story was Always Dreaming. Many people had hopes that the colt would duplicate the feat of American Pharoah in 2015. American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed won all three races in 1978. Jockey John Velazquez again piloted Always Dreaming in the Preakness Stakes. It has been suggested that the horse did not manage the shorter distance at Pimlico. The Preakness Stakes is the shortest of the Triple Crown series at 1 3/16 miles. The distance of the race also involves a fairly short run to the first turn in which horses must struggle for position.
The big question now is how the outcome of the first two Triple Crown races will affect the Belmont Stakes. There is always more attention on the Belmont Stakes when the race features a horse with a chance at the Triple Crown. The television ratings for American Pharoah’s attempt were among the largest ever posted for a televised sporting event. With no Triple Crown at stake, it is likely that the ratings for the Belmont this year will drop significantly.
Die hard horseracing fans will still attend the race and tune in on television. What will be lacking are those who typically only watch horseracing when a Triple Crown is at stake. Still, the Belmont shapes up to be an interesting race. It is expected that the race will feature horses that have competed in the previous two races as well as a variety of new shooters who are entering the series for the first time.
In today’s racing world, many trainers opt to skip the first two legs of the Triple Crown series in order to enter a fresh horse in the Belmont against tired runners who will be competing in their third race in five weeks. The travel also comes into play. Horses that compete in all three races must ship from Kentucky to Maryland and then on to New York. This kind of schedule, in addition to the grueling nature of the races themselves, can wear a horse down.
When California Chrome lost his bid at the Triple Crown to a new shooter at the Belmont, the loss prompted a tirade from one of Chrome’s owners on live television. The owner claimed that horses should not be allowed to compete in the Belmont Stakes unless they had raced in the previous two events. It is the presence of the new horses, however, that makes the Belmont Stakes a good betting race for handicappers.
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