Understanding a Triple Crown race

Normally, discussions about the horse predicted to prevail in the next Triple Crown race starts at the end of the famous Breeder’s Cup Juvenile race. To become a Triple Crown champion, you have to do more than just triumph at the Kentucky Derby. For one, Derby’s winner must also win the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes within a shot period of only 6 week of winning the other one.

To participate in Triple Crown races, only horses of up to 3 years of age are allowed to compete. Normally, this class of horses have not realized their full potential as they are still growing, thus they are often referred to as juvenile horses. This is one of the reasons that make Triple Crown races difficult to win.
Apart from the age factor, the duration of time between the races also complicates things for the competing horses. Normally, horses get 30 to 60 days rest time between the races. Nonetheless, the three races must be completed within a period of 35 days of commencement of the competitions.

The Kentucky Derby race

First run in the late 1800s, this race was won by Sir Barton. Also known as ’the Run for the Roses’, the Kentucky Derby is full of traditions and prestige. The winning horse is normally wrapped with a rose’s blanket. The horse fated to win the three races must also prevail in the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes, all Grade 1 stake races.

Preakness Stakes race

Also referred to as the ‘Run for the Black Eyed Susan’s’, this race forms the second part of the Triple Crown race. It is a short race as it is only 9 furlongs. The horses taking part in the Kentucky Derby are only given 14 days of preparation proper to taking part in the race.

Belmont Stakes race

This is the last bit of the three races. It is often referred to as the ‘Run for the Carnations.’ It is the toughest amongst the three races as it is the longest of them all. So far, only 11 horses have actually managed to win all three races, as a result it is considered to be the most difficult feat in the world of horse racing. There has been no definite Triple Crown victor for the last 30 years.

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