It’s the most wonderful time of the year for horse racing enthusiasts and gamblers! The name itself is monumental, but when the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing kicks off on May 2, the tradition of these races, dating back almost 150 years, will be reignited for all fans and spectators to celebrate another year of horse racing history.
The only ones possibly even more excited than racing fanatics are those eager to wager on which three-year-old thoroughbred will likely take the illustrious crown. Adding to the suspense is the anticipation that one of these horses could potentially end the near 40-year drought of a single horse completing the Triple Crown. Every racing enthusiast has a favourite; or at the very least, a new “horse of the moment” that could step up and permanently have his name carved in the history books.
Let’s take a further look at what the Triple Crown charm is all about:
The Triple Crown Races
Apart from the allure of trying to capture the Triple Crown, each of these races carries with it significant earnings. The Kentucky Derby kicks off the sprint with the winner taking home a $2,000,000 purse for victory in the 1 1/4 mile charge. The purse for the Preakness Stakes is $1,500,000—at just 1 3/16 of a mile to the finish line, it is the shortest of the three races. And finally, not to be outdone, the 1 1/2 mile Belmont Stakes is the longest of the races, also carrying a purse of $1,500,000.
Betting on the Triple Crown Races
The prize money is substantial, but gamblers and fans of the sport shouldn’t feel left out of the money loop. Betting on the Triple Crown is unlike betting on any other horse racing event. The primary reason being the overall magnitude of the event is substantial, with attendance regularly exceeding 80,000 or more for each race. Another, more technical factor, is that horses typically get months in between races to recover and prepare their bodies for the next race. The Triple Crown takes place over five weeks, leaving a smaller amount of time in between events for a horse to recoup and go back out to race again.
Another factor that gamblers need to keep in mind is a horse’s potential for injury. Horses in today’s day and age are getting increasingly faster, but the intensity of training also make horses slightly more prone to injuries. This needs to be taken into consideration for those placing wagers on any of the thoroughbreds.
Triple Crown: Past and Present
Writer Charles Hatton came up with the term “Triple Crown” when describing how Gallant Fox won all three races back in 1930. Only 11 horses have accomplished the feat of completing the entire Triple Crown since Fox’s conquest, and we are currently in the midst of a dry spell—37 years—since one horse has claimed that victory (Affirmed was the last horse to accomplish the feat in 1978).
California Chrome came close to breaking that streak in 2014, winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, before a disheartening fourth place finish at Belmont. This year, no clear winner has been established, though some put their money on American Pharoah, who just came off of an eight-length win at the Arkansas Derby; others are betting on Dortmund, who is currently 6-0.
Of course these are just assumptions, and since it’s been 37 years since any of these assumptions have proven correct, not too much stock should be placed in these expectations.
Because it is so rare for a horse to win the Triple Crown, it only adds to its prestige. The odds to take the crown, essentially, are in no horse’s favour. And while betting on each race brings its own thrills, finding that one horse that can sustain excellence throughout all three races is what draws Canadians off their couches to place wagers on their favourite thoroughbreds.
And just think of the long history of each of these races. This year will be the 141st race for the Kentucky Derby, the 140th for Preakness, and 147th for Belmont. These races have withstood the test of time and have managed to stay relevant in today’s society.
Know How to Get Your Winnings Back
Canadians who plan to attend and gamble at the Triple Crown races this year need to be aware of how winnings are handled. A percentage of winnings are typically held back from Canadians, and if you are not educated on how to retrieve those winnings, then you stand to lose a significant portion of what is owed to you.
Refund Management Services (RMS) is Canada’s most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process—our Customer Service Agents take care of the rest. Your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved.
“Triple Crown 2014 Recap,” Bodog web site; http://horses.bodog.eu/triple-crown/preview-and-recap, last accessed April 23, 2015.
Mihoces, G., “Triple Crown: Could this be the year the drought ends?,” USA Today web site, April 17, 2015; http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/horseracing/2015/04/17/triple-crown-could-this-be-the-year-the-drought-ends/25920509/.
“Triple Crown Racing,” Triple Crown Races web site, http://www.triplecrownraces.com/, last accessed April 23, 2015.