Horse Racing – The Triple Crown in United States Thoroughbred Racing

Chances are, you’ve heard of horse racing. There’s a good chance you’ve gone to a horse track and watched some of the races, millions of people do each year. And if you’re familiar with horse races most likely you’ve heard of the famous “Triple Crown.” The Triple Crown refers to a set of three races, and should a horse win all three of these races he or she is crowned a Triple Crown winner.

Many countries have their own version of the Triple Crown. datos carreras americanas hoy In general, it refers to the three most prestigious flat races in a given country. In the United States it refers to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. All three races are open only to 3 year old horses, whether they be male or female. Males carry 126 lbs. in weights while females carry 121 lbs. in weights.

The Kentucky Derby, held at the Churchill Downs race track in Kentucky, is arguably the most famous race in the United States and perhaps even the world. The race is usually held on the first Saturday of each May and caps the two week long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is One and a Quarter miles long and takes place in approximately 2 minutes. Due to its time length the Kentucky Derby is often referred to as the “Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.” The race is also referred to as the Run for the Roses owing to the fact that a blanket of 554 roses (de-thorned, of course) is draped over the winning horse. The race is so important to the state of Kentucky that the Governor of Kentucky awards both the trophy and the blanket of roses. The winner also wins a 2 million dollars and the second place finisher receives, 1.45 million dollars.

The Kentucky Derby if followed up by the Preakness Stakes on the third Thursday of May. The total purse of the Preakness Stakes is 1 million dollars. The Preakness Stakes is held in Maryland, one of the early breeding centers for thoroughbred horses in the United States. It is held at the Pimlico Racetrack in the United States, one of the oldest and most famous race tracks in the USA. Generally the Preakness States is second in attendance only to the Kentucky Derby The Preakness Stakes is often called the “Second Jewel of the Triple Crown” or the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.” Black-Eyed Susans are the state flower of Maryland and a wreath is made to resemble them and awarded to the winner.

The final leg of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes held at Belmont Park in New York. The Belmont Stakes is 1.5 miles long and is held three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. It is held on a Saturday between June 5th and June 11th. The race is the 4th most widely attended race in the United States and the winner takes home $600,000. Attendance and viewer-ship for the Belmont Stakes is especially high if a horse is threatening to win the Triple Crown.

No horse has won the Triple Crown since 1978 when the horse “Affirmed” took home the crown. In total only 11 horses have ever won the triple crown, with 8 of them winning before 1950. In 2004 “Smarty Jones” took home the Roses and the Black-Eyed Susans but failed to secure the Belomnt Stakes. In 2008 “Big Brown” won the first two jewels of the Triple Crown only to Da’ Tara win the Belmont Stakes. In 2012 “I’ll Have Another” won the first two races but lost to Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes. Several other horses have also won the first two races, only to lose at the Belmont Stakes. Who knows when the next horse will win the Triple Crown, but it’d make world headlines when he or she does.

You might notice that all of these races are held in the Eastern half of the United States, thereby excluding famous West coast races. Some individual races on the West Coast of the United States are certainly as prestigious as their eastern brethren, however, most of these races gained fame later in history and transporting horses across the vast continental USA can be expensive and stressful for the horse itself. For these reasons the Triple Crown consists of races on the Eastern half of the United States.


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