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Triple Crown Betting Odds
There isn't a more impressive accomplishment in all of sports than winning the Triple Crown. Should 2020 produce just the 14th Triple Crown winner it will come with an asterisk, though. The usual format of Triple Crown races has been shuffled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time the Belmont Stakes was the first leg of horse racing’s biggest prize. The dates, the amount of time in between races and the distance of one race changed. These adjustments will not diminish the accomplishment if a top 3-year-old thoroughbred can topple his peers in the three biggest races on the calendar. It’s just not easy to win the Belmont, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes against the finest horse racing has to offer.
2020 Triple Crown Races
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020
Race Distance: 1 1/8 Miles
Record: 2:24.00 (Secretariat, 1973)
Purse: $1 Million
Location: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
Winner: Tiz the Law
Typically the third jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes moved up in the pecking order with the coronavirus wreaking havoc on horse racing and the sports world in general. And to accommodate for the changes the distance was shortened by three furlongs. Known as The Test of the Champion since it’s been the longest and last of the three Triple Crown races, in 2020 the race is the shortest of the trio and a prep for the Kentucky Derby. A total of 10 horses entered the Belmont Stakes on June 20 with the hope of becoming the 14th Triple Crown winner. After the race only one still has a chance. Favorite Tiz the Law was impressive in his 3 3/4 length win.
Date: Saturday, September 5, 2020
Race Distance: 1 1/4 Miles
Record: 1:59.40 (Secretariat, 1973)
Purse: $3 Million
Location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
The Kentucky Derby is the most prestigious horse race in the United States and that hasn’t changed despite moving from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in September. A stronger and larger field typically descends on Churchill Downs and that isn’t expected to change in 2020. For the first time since 1945 when World War II interrupted the festivities the Run for the Roses will take place outside its regular May time slot. Tiz the Law emerged as the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown favorite with his impressive win at Belmont and has three months to prepare for the second leg.
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2020
Race Distance: 1 3/16 Miles
Record: 1:53 (Secretariat, 1973)
Purse: $1.5 million
Location: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD
Though it’s a year older than the Kentucky Derby the Preakness Stakes isn’t as prestigious. Being the middle child the race gets lost in the shuffle. With the rearranged schedule in 2020 the Preakness is the final leg and could have more eyeballs with the possibility of history being made. A total of 23 horses entered the final jewel with a chance to win the Triple Crown and missed. While the race will certainly be thrilling for horse racing enthusiasts, the chance to witness a potential Triple Crown winner just adds to the excitement. There were concerns that the race could be moved or shut down entirely until an agreement was reached that will keep the race at Pimlico for the foreseeable future.
Triple Crown Format
There's no such thing as a cheap way into the Triple Crown race field anymore, as ponies have to either win one of the major prep races leading into the Run for the Roses or finish in the money multiple times over the course of their two- and three-year old year seasons. Horses don't just go from maidens to Triple Crown winners, and they don't retire without accomplishing other great things as well.
Triple Crown Winners
||Mike E. Smith
||William H. Turner Jr.
||Horace A. Jones
||H. Guy Bedwell
The longest stretch in the history of horse racing without a Triple Crown was from 1978 through 2015 before American Pharoah finally broke through and got the job done in one of the best moments in horse racing over the course of the last four decades. Prior to that, Seattle Slew and Affirmed won the Triple Crown in consecutive years, the only time that has ever happened.
The Triple Crown was claimed a whopping three times in the 1930s and four times in the 1940s, and it's unlikely we'll ever see anything like that degree of dominance again. Only one jockey and one trainer have ever won the Triple Crown twice. Eddie Arcaro was the rider for both Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1948, while Jim Fitzsimmons trained Gallant Fox and Omaha in 1930 and 1935.
We would be remiss if we didn't mention the great Secretariat. Not only did the horse nicknamed "Big Red" win all three legs of the Triple Crown, but he did so in record time in each race. All three records continue to stand to this day, and his 1973 Belmont Stakes winning time of 2:24 flat with a margin of victory of 31 lengths is still one of the most impressive displays all-time in the history of sports.
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