Kicking off the Triple Crown

While there have always been sports fanatics who follow every game of the season, and who have “man caves” lined with player jerseys and signed photographs, most of America only checks into the key games of the season for any given sport.
Casual football viewers have the Super Bowl to look forward to, office coworkers have the NCAA basketball tournament and baseball fans have the World Series. Following this pattern, the only time that America ever pays any kind of attention to the sport of horse racing occurs during the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.
Sunday, May 3, marked the beginning of the biggest annual horse racing event. The Triple Crown is comprised of three individual races at three different race tracks across America. This event invites three-year-old thoroughbred horses and their jockeys to compete for a shot at becoming the Triple Crown Champion.
While each race often has a different winner, there have been a few times when a single horse wins all three races. In this case, the horse and jockey are crowned as the Triple Crown Winner and receive massive prize money.
The first leg of the competition took place, as it always does, at the world famous Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, where California Chrome took first place.
Trained by a father-son team of Alan and Art
Sherman, the colt was the first horse that the two of them have ever entered into the event. He was the first California-bred horse to win the event since 1962, and walked in as the crowd favorite.
Prior to the event, famous horse trainer Bob Baffert spoke highly of California Chrome and said, “As long as he breaks and he’s in the clear…he just keeps going.” He told one reporter that he intended to bet on the horse, and finished by saying: “He’s looked like the real deal…I like everything about him.”
Some commentators are even suggesting that Chrome will be the first horse in 36 years to win all three legs of the series. Only 11 horses in the sport’s history have ever won all three events, and since 1978 there hasn’t been a single horse to claim the title.
Several have won the first two races since then, but ultimately fell short in the third leg, the Belmont Stakes. The horse Real Quiet came the closest to winning the Triple Crown in 1998, but lost by just a nose in the final leg.
There are a few critics who believe that the reason for the drought in winners comes from contemporary horse training strategies that focus on winning a single race, and not building the endurance
to win all three.
Still, with all that said, Chrome won the Kentucky Derby with a comfortable margin and has essentially shown improvement in every race he’s been in. There’s a lot of expectation that he’ll win the next leg, and even take the entire Triple Crown. However, because of the close nature of horse racing, it’s too close to
bet on.