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Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the center of the Thoroughbred racing universe this weekend as California Chrome attempts to make history by winning the Triple Crown. There is graded stakes action on Friday leading up to the big event however - the Grade 2 True North Stakes will go down on Friday, June 6. Horses four years old and upward will take to Belmont Park`s main track and dash six furlongs looking for the winner`s share of the $250,000 purse.
The Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes comes our way from Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario this Sunday, June 1. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Woodbine's All Weather Track searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario will be the scene of the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes on Saturday, May 31. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they dash seven furlongs on Woodbine's turf track for a purse of $200,000.
Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on Saturday, May 31. The race will featured horses three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's main track in search of the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
The Grade 1 American Oaks comes our way from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California this Saturday, May 31. Three year old fillies will takes to Santa Anita's turf track and go 1 1/4 milers searching for the winner's share of the $350,000 purse.
The Grade 2 Nassau Stakes is on tap from Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario on Sunday, May 25. A group of fillies and mares three years old and upward will go one mile on Woodbine's turf track in search of the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
Horse racing history can be made June 7 at the 146th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York as California Chrome looks to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in American thoroughbred horse racing history. The last was Affirmed in 1978 and the 36-year drought is the longest in history.
Why have there only been 11 Triple Crown winners in thoroughbred history and not since Affirmed in 1978? The quality of competition around the world is better these days with more and more wealthy backers getting involved in the sport. There's also the fact that horses aren't used to running all out three times in five weeks as those racing in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes must do. The Belmont is also the most grueling of the three a 1 1/2 miles, a distance no 3-year-old is familiar with. Some are worn down by then.
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome set foot on the Belmont Park main track for the first time on Wednesday, leisurely jogging once around the 1-1/2 mile course with exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard.
If there is no single winning ticket on the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park Saturday and Sunday, the total pool of the 20-cent wager is expected to set a Pick 6 record on Monday, May 26.
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