Horse Analysis - Change of order of Triple Crown
Usually, the Triple Crown starts with the Kentucky Derby in May, followed by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later and then, three weeks after the second race, it closes with Belmont Stakes. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, that changed dramatically this year.
How does your Triple Crown bet is affected by the new order of racing?
While those in the world of horse racing are happy to have the Triple Crown, the change also means alterations in the odds and in the way of training for these events.
Each of the owners and trainers of a three-year-old thoroughbred is focused on getting to the Kentucky Derby-which is usually the first circuit-with finesse. There are even many horses that don’t even compete in all three races because it’s so demanding on the team. Only those who are contenders are maximized in their efforts to achieve the great and precious Triple Crown.
In other words, many horses depended on their position in the Kentucky Derby to know whether or not they were still in the dream of the Triple Crown. If not, they probably run one or two of the races and then focus on grand prix races in the summer.
In addition, starting the Triple Crown in September puts a strain on coaches and owners, as the Breeders’ Cup begins on November 7, and it brings in a $7 million prize, so many won’t know which one to focus on. Hence, the bookmakers and the odds may also undergo some changes.
This is because the Triple Crown would end on October 3rd with Preakness Stakes, so the horses would have just over a month to recover from the tough competition and, in the process, try to be at their best for the Breeders’ Cup.
This is how the 2020 Triple Crown will be run
The opening race this year will be Belmont Stakes on June 20, where the favorites are Tiz The Law (+150), Dr Post (+900) and Mischevious Alex (+1000). Now the interesting thing will be to see, depending on the results, who will go for it all in the Kentucky Derby or who will prefer to focus on the Breeders’ Cup is something to be aware of.
In fact, to be quite frank, the horses must choose whether to fight for the Triple Crown or the Breeders’ Cup, it is almost impossible to prepare for – and win – both. To see the last time the order of the Triple Crown was changed, you have to go back to 1930.
As for the favourites to win a Triple Crown, Tiz The Law and Independence start at +5000, followed by Dennis’ Moment at +6000, while Maxfield and Thousand Words are listed at +6600. The odds are very high, this is because to win the Triple Crown, all three races must be won, there is no margin for error. These bets might have been different but for the pandemic, as Tiz The Law was coming in with a lot of momentum.
What’s more, and to demonstrate the prestige that winning the Triple Crown provides, only 13 horses in all history have been able to win the Triple Crown and, of those, only two are alive, American Pharoah which won in 2015 and Justify in 2018. Before that, the last winner was Affirmed, in 1978.
The bets and odds have changed too much, this due to the change of calendar, besides, the horses are not in competition rhythm, and the preparation for the Triple Crown is very demanding.
Additionally, the concern – or distraction – of having the Breeders’ Cup just past the Triple Crown, and given the preparation time, priorities can change. Given this, betting has the possibility of not having a Triple Crown champion in a -2500, while watching an equine win all three races is listed at +800.