The start of the Triple Crown races in the United States is nearly here, and the target for all lining up in the Kentucky Derby at the beginning of May will be to win all three Triple Crown races. However, history illustrates how hard that feat is to achieve, with only 13 previous horses able to achieve that feat.
This year’s feat of winning all three races may be more difficult than years gone by, as the talent expected to line up in the Kentucky Derby this year is off the scale. But, out of the three Triple Crown races, which is the hardest one to win?
The Triple Crown race that all connections want to win is the Kentucky Derby. It is the most prestigious of the three races that are run and are also the most lucrative with a $3 million purse available to connections for the race in 2022.
However, while undoubted talented horses often win the Kentucky Derby, there is a lot of luck that goes with winning the opening Triple Crown race. On the day at Churchill Downs, everything needs to fall into place to win the race, which includes getting a good draw, before you can even think about the race itself.
Then, you need to get off to a good start and avoid the other horses in the field and place the horse in the best position to ensure it stands the best chance of winning. The luck that comes with the Kentucky Derby is seen by the fact that only one of the previous five favorites has won the race, with last year’s market leader Essential Quality being bumped twice coming out of the stall before finishing third.
Many believe that the Preakness Stakes is the easiest of the Triple Crown races to win as it is run over the shortest distance. However, the quick turnaround from the Derby means that it is often needed in order for rivals to attempt to win the race at Pimlico. But, that often doesn’t make it any easier to win. The main reason for that is down to the fact that the vast majority of the Preakness field come into the race fresh, whereas the winner of the Derby would have run just two weeks earlier.
The standard may be the weakest of the all three Triple Crown races, but that doesn’t make it any easier given that the race at Churchill Downs would have likely taken a lot out of the horses that lined up.
That has led to some big shocks in the race, with Rombauer upsetting the odds in 2021 beating the heavily-fancied Medina Spirit, Concert Tour and Midnight Bourbon.
You can check the current odds for the event that is scheduled to happen on the 21st of May here: twinspires.com/preakness-stakes/odds
In our opinion, the Belmont Stakes is the hardest of the three Triple Crown races to win. That is mirrored by the fact that 23 previous Derby and Preakness Stakes winners have fallen short at the Belmont Stakes after landing victories in the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
The most recent winner to have won the Derby and Preakness before falling short in the Belmont was California Chrome, who finished fourth in the 2014 edition of the race. Unlike the previous two races, the Belmont is all about strategy.
There isn’t any luck when it comes to winning the race, as jockeys must time their moves to perfection, while horses need to store energy for the finish. Unlike the other two races, it is also over an extended distance with 1 ½ mile covered, which for the majority of the three-year-olds will be the longest distance that they have raced over.