Few sporting accomplishments are as daunting as winning horseracing’s Triple Crown series. Only 11 horses since 1919 have managed to complete the trifecta and win all three races that comprise the series. It is hard to find a comparable feat in other sports, but one might consider a three-peat by an NFL team or an NBA team to be similar. The only difference is that a horse must win all three races of the Triple Crown in a span of five weeks at three different racetracks to secure its place in racing history. 2015 will mark the 37th year since the last horse won the Triple Crown, and some are questioning whether the feat can be repeated in today’s racing climate. (Update June 6 2015: We have a new champion, American Pharoah has won the triple crown)
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In recent years the Triple Crown series has been somewhat overshadowed by the Breeders Cup and other events like the Dubai World Cup, but each year horseracing fans hold their breath and hope for that special horse to emerge. Many of them argue that a Triple Crown winner is just what the sport needs to return to glory.
The history of the Triple Crown
The Triple Crown consists of three races—the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes—which are contested in the late spring of each year. The races are restricted to horses that are three years old, either male or female, and are ran at three-different distances ranging from 1 3/16 miles to 1 ½ miles. There is very little time between races for horses to recuperate.
The credit for naming the series is usually given to Daily Racing Form writer Charles Hatton who used the term in 1930, but others had been calling it the Triple Crown since 1923 or earlier. It wasn’t until 1950 that a special Triple Crown trophy was commissioned to award to the winner of the series.
Since 1931 the races in the Triple Crown series have been run in a specific order. The Kentucky Derby happens on the first Saturday in May each year at Churchill Downs and is followed by the Preakness Stakes in Maryland and finally the Belmont Stakes in New York. The Belmont is the longest race of the three and marks the first time the horses in the race will run a distance of 1 ½ miles. It should come as no surprise, given the fragility of the thoroughbred, that many horses do not make it to the Belmont. In recent years some trainers have chosen to skip the first two races in the series and prepare only for the Belmont in the hope that a fresh horse will overcome tired rivals. Such was the case in 2014 when Triple Crown hopeful, California Chrome, was defeated by Tonalist. The owner of California Chrome was so upset that he accused Tonalist’s connections of cowardice in a post-race interview.
Betting the Triple Crown series
Horseplayers love betting on the Triple Crown because the payoffs on each race tend to be huge. Because there are so many quality horses in each race the odds on a specific horse to win are usually generous compared to the horse’s chances of winning. This is especially true in the Kentucky Derby because the field is comprised of 20 horses. Such a large number of horses opens up the possibility that the race will be won by a longshot.
Exotic bets are especially good in the Triple Crown series. A trifecta can routinely pay more than $1,000 on a $2 bet and a superfecta can easily reach five figures. Hitting these bets is tough, and that is exactly why you need the free resources we provide at EZ Horse Betting. If you are planning on betting this year’s Triple Crown racing series we also recommend you check out Diamond Sportsbook International. Setting up an account now with DSI can put some free bonus money in your account that you can use to build a bankroll for the Triple Crown! Ez horse betting recommends them and a few other racebooks.
The 37-year drought of the Triple Crown
While a few race horses have managed to win the first two races in the series, no horse has completed the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. The 37-year drought is the longest in the series’ history. (This all changed today June 6 2015, American Pharoah has won the triple crown)
Many racing fans attribute this to a variety of factors. Some claim that horses are not as durable as they were many years ago. Others blame the strategy of preparing a horse specifically for one race in the series and skipping the other two. It has been questioned if horseracing will ever see another Triple Crown winner in today’s racing climate.
One thing is for certain. Each year brings fresh hope that a special horse will emerge and capture the attention of not only racing fans but the world in general as they try to accomplish what just might be the most difficult feat in all of professional sports.
Triple Crown Winners
2015: American Pharoah
1977: Seattle Slew
1943: Count Fleet
1937: War Admiral
1930: Gallant Fox
1919: Sir Barton
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