The Triple Crown of US horse racing consists of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The three races take place between the beginning of May and early June and offer the ultimate test for 3-year-old thoroughbreds. In the history of the Triple Crown, only 13 horses have achieved the feat of winning all three races in the same year. Let’s take a look at betting on the Triple Crown, along with the best places to do so legally and safely online.
Where to bet on the Triple Crown
FanDuel has put together a solid platform for horse betting. As is the case with the gambling giant’s other offerings, it’s slick to use, easy to sign up for and available on the web and mobile devices in a number of states where betting on horses is legal. FanDuel Racing also offers live streaming from over 200 tracks around the world on the platform and via a dedicated channel on the tube.
Other methods to bet on the Triple Crown
The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes are among the biggest races of the year. Many tracks will feature simulcast wagering on all three. If there is a racing venue near you, you’ll likely be able to place bets while enjoying the spectacle with fellow racing fans.
Another option, depending on where you’re located, is off-track betting sites. You can find these in many states across the country. If you’re not sure where your nearest OTB is, you can likely track down the answer online.
Last but not least, you could also attend one (or more) of the three races. At the track, head to a teller and place your bet. More than 300,000 people will attend the Triple Crown races in 2023. It is the perfect way to get immersed in the atmosphere.
The Triple Crown races
Known as the “Run for the Roses,” the Kentucky Derby takes place annually on the first Saturday in May. The race plays out over a distance of 1.25 miles at Churchill Downs and has a maximum field of 20. Here’s a look back at the last decade of Kentucky Derby winners.
|2023||Mage||2:01:57||Javier Castellano||Gustavo Delgado|
|2022||Rich Strike||2:02:61||Sonny Leon||Eric Reed|
|2021||Mandaloun||2:01:02||Florent Geroux||Brad H. Cox|
|2020||Authentic||2:00:61||John Velazquez||Bob Baffert|
|2019||Country House||2:03:93||Flavien Prat||Bill Mott|
|2018||Justify||2:04:20||Mike E. Smith||Bob Baffert|
|2017||Always Dreaming||2:03:59||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|2016||Nyquist||2:01:31||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill|
|2015||American Pharaoh||2:03:02||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert|
|2014||California Chrome||2:03:66||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman|
Known as the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans,” the Preakness Stakes takes place annually on the third Saturday in May over 1 3/16 miles at Pimlico Race Course. The maximum field is 14. Here are the last 10 winners of the Preakness Stakes.
|2023||National Treasure||1:55:12||John Velazquez||Bob Baffert|
|2022||Early Voting||1:54:54||Jose Ortiz||Chad Brown|
|2021||Rombauer||1:53:62||Flavien Prat||Michael W. McCarthy|
|2020||Swiss Skydiver||1:53:28||Robby Albarado||Kenneth McPeek|
|2019||War of Will||1:54:34||Tyler Gaffalione||Mark E. Casse|
|2018||Justify||1:55:93||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|2017||Cloud Computing||1:55:98||Javier Castellano||Chad Brown|
|2016||Exaggerator||1:58:31||Kent Desormeaux||J. Keith Desormeaux|
|2015||American Pharoah||1:58:46||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert|
|2014||California Chrome||1:54:84||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman|
AKA the “Test of the Champion,” Belmont takes place annually on the first or second Saturday in June. A maximum field of 12 competes over a distance of 1.5 miles at Belmont Park. For the 2020 edition, the distance went down to 1 1/8 miles. Here are the last 10 winners of the Belmont Stakes.
|2023||Arcangelo||2:29:29||Javier Castellano||Jena Antonucci|
|2022||Mo Donegal||2:28:28||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Todd Pletcher|
|2021||Essential Quality||2:27:11||Luis Saez||Brad H. Cox|
|2020||Tiz the Law||1:46:53||Manny Franco||Barclay Tagg|
|2019||Sir Winston||2:28:30||Joel Rosario||Mark E. Casse|
|2018||Justify||2:28:18||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|2017||Tapwrit||2:30:02||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher|
|2016||Creator||2:28:51||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Steve Asmussen|
|2015||American Pharoah||2:26:65||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert|
|2014||Tonalist||2:28:52||Joel Rosario||Christophe Clement|
Triple Crown betting odds
Betting odds for the Triple Crown races come out several days in advance of each individual event. Looking ahead to next season, here are the dates for the trio of big races.
- Kentucky Derby: May 4, 2024
- Preakness Stakes: May 18, 2024
- Belmont Stakes: June 8, 2024
Types of Triple Crown bets
There are several wagers that you can place on each of the three races. At the top of the list are the three standard horse racing bets.
- Win bet: If your horse finishes first, you win.
- Place bet: You win if your horse finishes first or second, with a smaller payout than a win bet but a larger chance of being successful.
- Show bet: Your pick needs to finish first, second or third in the race, offering even more chances to win, but again at reduced odds.
In addition to the standard wagers, there are also several popular bets that fall into the exotic category. These are wagers that require multiple correct selections to win. The payouts can climb as the difficulty increases, but there’s a good deal of risk involved, as a single wrong selection means that the bet loses.
- Exacta: Pick the first- and second-place horses in a race, in the correct order.
- Trifecta: Like an exacta, but for the top three horses in a race, in the correct order.
- Superfecta: Similar to the above, but with the top four horses.
Also, if you don’t like your chances of getting the order correct, you can box your selections. This means that the horses you select can finish in any order. You win if your picks align with the parameters of the bet. The actual cost of a box wager will vary based on the number of horses that you include on your betting slip.
Kentucky Derby payouts based on the type of bet
Below is the payout chart for the 2023 Kentucky Derby.
|2nd: Two Phil’s||$10.44||$6.52|
|3rd: Angel of Empire||$4.70|
The surprise at the top of the board led to some hefty payouts for winning bettors. If we look back at the 2018 edition, Justify was a 3-1 morning line favorite and went on to win the race. The payouts checked in at $7.80 to win, $6 to place and $4.40 to show.
Triple Crown prop bets
Prop bets on Triple Crown races can sometimes add a fun element. Being the first of the three races and possibly the biggest race of all, the Kentucky Derby usually has the most prop bets available. However, most of these wagers aren’t available in US markets, but they’re often available in Europe.
Options include the finishing time of the race and whether the winning saddle number will be odd or even. Prop bets on the Preakness Stakes will primarily be about the winner of the Kentucky Derby, while the range of prop bets on the Belmont Stakes will increase if the same horse won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
Triple Crown betting strategy
In the run-up to the Kentucky Derby, there is a series of 35 races, encompassing virtually all of the big races for the top 3-year-old horses. To qualify for the Kentucky Derby, horses earn points in each of these races, with the leading 20 forming the field. As such, this series of races offers a form guide, with leading contenders potentially meeting in the lead-up to the race.
Heading into the Preakness Stakes, you have the further form guide of the Kentucky Derby, and it’s likely that the Derby winner will be the favorite. The field will be a mix of Derby runners and those tasting a Triple Crown race for the first time. Meanwhile, Belmont is longer than both the Derby and Preakness, making stamina an even bigger factor.
Qualification for the Triple Crown
In late January, connections can enter their horses for the Triple Crown series. Further entry into each of the three races will cost $15,000, with an additional $15,000 payable if a horse makes the starting field. The Kentucky Derby has a limit of 20 horses, while the final standings in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series help to set the field. The 35 races offer differing numbers of points to the leading finishers, with 100 points available for winning any of the final seven in the Championship Series.
Entry into the Preakness Stakes is limited to 14 horses. Qualification is slightly more complicated, but it is mostly based on winnings in both graded stakes races and nonrestricted races. A finish in the top five of the Kentucky Derby will guarantee a spot in the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes has a limit of 12 horses and is based on career earnings. Good finishes in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes should ensure enough prize money to secure a spot in the Belmont Stakes.
Past winners of the Triple Crown
Only 13 horses have managed to win the Triple Crown. Over the past decade, it has happened twice, which snapped a lengthy stretch for which there were no winners of the Triple Crown. Here’s the complete list:
|1919||Sir Barney||Johnny Loftus||H. Guy Bedwell|
|1930||Gallant Fox||Earl Sande||Jim Fitzsimmons|
|1935||Omaha||Willie “Smokey” Saunders||Jim Fitzsimmons|
|1937||War Admiral||Charles Kurtsinger||George Conway|
|1941||Whirlaway||Eddie Arcaro||Ben A. Jones|
|1943||Count Fleet||Johnny Longden||Don Cameron|
|1946||Assault||Warren Mehrtens||Max Hirsch|
|1948||Citation||Eddie Arcaro||Horace A. “Jimmy” Jones|
|1973||Secretariat||Ron Turcotte||Lucien Laurin|
|1977||Seattle Slew||Jean Crugruet||William H. Turner, Jr.|
|1978||Affirmed||Steve Cauthen||Laz Barrera|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert|
|2018||Justify||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
Triple Crown trivia
Thirty-six horses have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and, therefore, had the chance of completing the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes. Of the 23 unsuccessful horses, three failed to appear at the Belmont Stakes: Burgoo King was lame in 1932, Bold Venture was lame in 1936 and I’ll Have Another was scratched due to a tendon injury the day before the race in 2012.
Of the 20 unsuccessful race attempts, Real Quiet in 1998 was perhaps the unluckiest, losing out in a photo finish to Victory Gallop. Alydar was possibly the best horse in the history of the Triple Crown to never win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes or the Belmont Stakes. In 1978, he came up against the legendary Affirmed and would finish second in each of the three races, the only horse to ever achieve this feat.
The Breeders’ Cup was established in 1984, with the Breeders’ Cup Classic race, alongside the Triple Crown, unofficially making up the grand slam of US horse racing. The only horse to have won all four races is American Pharoah in 2015. Gallant Fox, the Triple Crown winner in 1930, is the only winner to sire another winner, Omaha in 1935.
More racing pages
|Kentucky Derby||Preakness Stakes||Belmont Stakes|
|Triple Crown||Haskell Invitational||Arlington Millions|
|Travers Stakes||Stars and Stripes Stakes||Dubai World Cup|
|Saudi Cup||Kentucky Oaks|
Triple Crown FAQ
How much do the winners of the Triple Crown races win?
The Kentucky Derby had an overall purse of $3 million in 2022. Derby winner Rich Strike took home $1.86 million, with the next four finishers receiving portions of the pool. The Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes have total purses of $1.5 million each. The winner of the Preakness collects $900,000 and each of the top five receives prize money, while the Belmont winner collects $800,000, with each of the top eight finishers receiving prize money.
When are the post times of each race in 2023?
The post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 6.
The Preakness Stakes sees the horses head to post at 6:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20.
The Belmont Stakes will start at 6:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 10.
How many fillies have won Triple Crown races?
Eleven fillies have won Triple Crown races. Five have won the Kentucky Derby, while three fillies have won each of the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Rachel Alexandra was the last filly to win a Triple Crown race — the Preakness in 2009.
What are the fastest times for the Triple Crown races?
Secretariat holds the record for all three Triple Crown races. In 1973, he won the Kentucky Derby in 1:59.4, the Preakness in 1:53 and the Belmont in 2:24.
Who are the most successful jockeys/trainers in the history of the Triple Crown?
The legendary Eddie Arcaro is the most successful of all Triple Crown jockeys. Throughout his career, he amassed 17 wins: five Kentucky Derby victories and six each at the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. He’s also the only jockey to have won the Triple Crown twice. Bob Baffert is the most successful trainer in the history of the Triple Crown, with a total of 16 winners. Baffert is one of only two trainers to have won the Triple Crown twice: American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018.