While horse racing is considered a “fringe” sport among mainstream sports fans for much of the year, the main exception to that is during the Triple Crown,
Each spring the top three-year-olds in training go through a grueling three-race series, starting with the two most exciting minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Contested on the first Saturday of May each year, it is usually the first time the young runners have ever been asked to go 1 ¼ miles against a large field of their peers that usually number 20, and in front of more than 100,000 fans.
With a full and usually wide open race, the Kentucky Derby is considered one of the best horse races all year to wager on.
In the last six runnings of the Kentucky Derby, we have seen two winners pay over $100 to win, Giacomo ($102.60) in 2005 and Mine That Bird ($103.20) in 2009.
The second jewel of the Triple Crown is the Preakness Stakes, contested two weeks after the Kentucky Derby at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.
The distance of the race is 1 3/16 miles, the shortest of the three Triple Crown races.
The average win price comes down in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, and Kentucky Derby winners fare well, taking five of the last 12 runnings of the Preakness, giving each a chance to head to New York for a chance to become the next Triple Crown winner.
In those dozen years, Charismatic, War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, and Big Brown all went to New York for the Belmont Stakes with a shot of becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner, but all came up short.
The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.
We have been without a Triple Crown winner for more than three decades, but the races continue to be among the best wagering races for horseplayers.
With so much attention by the mainstream media, sports fans that do not normally play the horses contribute to the betting pools, which consistently make for outstanding wagering opportunities.
Handicapper Michael Dempsey on Triple Crown Betting: “There is no better time of year than during the Triple Crown of horse racing. Regular horseplayers love betting into the pools during these three days of racing. Like WSOP pros who see the fishes come to Las Vegas for the Main Event of poker, the Triple Crown races offer something similar for horseplayers. I’m all in!”