The Triple Crown
America's three most prestigious thoroughbred races combine to make the Triple Crown, run every year over 5 weeks starting in May.
The first jewel in the Triple Crown is the Kentucky Derby, a stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is held in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Churchill Downs course and is run over 1 1/4 miles or 10 furlongs.
The second race is the Preakness Stakes, held on the third weekend in May and also known as "The run for the black-eyed susans". A horseshoe of the Maryland state flower, the black-eyed susan is draped over the winner. The Preakness almost always attracts the Kentucky Derby winner, some of the other horses that ran in the Derby, and often a few horses that did not start in the Derby. It is the shortest of the Triple Crown races at 1 3/16 miles or 9 furlongs and is run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
The last Triple Crown race is the Belmont Stakes and it is the longest of the three races at 12 furlongs. It is held at Belmont Park, New York, three week after the Preakness. The Belmont is also known as "The race for the carnations", because of the blanket of carnations draped over the winner's neck.
The Triple Crown came about when in 1930, Gallant Fox won all three races, and sportswriter Charles Hatton used the phrase "Triple Crown" to describe the feat. In the more than 125 year history of the events, only 11 horses have ever won the Triple Crown and none since 1978. Since 1978, ten horses have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, but have not gone onto take the Belmont Stakes.
It's easy to place a Triple Crown bet online. We recommend the Bodog Racebook for the easiest betting engine and best odds. There's often many types of bets available online that are not available at the track, such as excellent odds for picking the 2nd placegetter when there is a strong favorite in the race.
There is also a Triple Crown of thoroughbred races in the UK, consisting of the 1,000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes.