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.
The Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes comes our way from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday, May 24. Fillies and mares four years old and upward will take to Belmont Park's inner turf track and go 1 3/8 miles searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario will be the scene of the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes on Saturday, May 24. Fillies and mares four years old and upward as they chase the winner's share of the $150,000 over 6.5 furlongs on Woodbine's All Weather Track.
Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will play host to the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes this Saturday, May 24. A purse of $200,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/4 miles on Santa Anita's turf track.
Woodbine Racetrack, in Toronto Ontario will play host to the Grade 3 Selene Stakes this Sunday, May 18. A purse of $150,000 will be on the line for three year old fillies willing to go 1 1/16 miles on Woodbine's All Weather Track.
The Grade 2 Adoration Stakes formerly the Marjorie L. Everett Handicap at Hollywood Park comes our way from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California this Sunday, May 18. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will takes to Santa Anita's main track looking for the winner's portion of the $100,000 purse.
The second jewel in the Triple Crown takes place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland this Saturday, May 17 when some of the best three year olds in the land line up in the $1.5 million Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. The entries will take to Pimlico's main track and go 1 3/16 miles for the winner's share of the lucrative purse and the distinction of being called a Preakness champion.